Chinchilla Melon Festival History:
Melons are no stranger to Chinchilla, where the first commercially grown melon was produced in the late 1950s. The district now produces 25% of the approximate 217,000 tonnes of melons grown in Australia each year.
The Melon Festival began in 1994 with the aim of attracting visitors to the town and to lift the spirits of a drought stricken community. After the success of the initial festival another followed in 1995 and then biennially on the third Saturday in February.
Each successive festival has attracted increased numbers of visitors, sponsorship and media exposure. From a crowd of 3000 in 1994 to a crowd of 10,000 in 2009, many visitors see the weekend as a meeting place for family reunions, taking the opportunity to glimpse a rural lifestyle in a fun and exciting way.
What happens at the Chinchilla Melon Festival 2017?
It's all watermelon fun and you'd have to be in it to really enjoy it. Just be sure to be suitably attired — old clothes will do — as you may be slipping and sliding in the slush of squashed watermelon, rind, flesh, pips and all.
In melon skiing, for instance, you'd have to squeeze your feet into watermelons and ski down a soapy course of watermelon debris with many a slip and tumble.
Or, if you're used to doing target practice, try hitting the bull's-eye, but with a large and, yes, heavy melon.
Or try to be first to reach your melon in the melon bungy while being tethered by a bungy cord to three other contestants in a field of slippery squashed melon.
Or you can join the pip spitting events to see who does it farthest, fastest, best.
There are melon iron man and woman competitions, too, as well as markets, a street parade, arts and crafts, a poets' breakfast, luncheons, a family concert, and even a laser show.