There's a fruit-frenzy waiting in De Leon this week as the annual Peach and Melon Festival delivers sweet, sometimes bizarre, family fun.
Golden Saturday is the biggest day of the festival with festival-goers and competitors doing anything, and almost everything, with a watermelon.
"We've got big plans for this year's Peach and Melon Festival," said Teresa Baird, executive director of the De Leon Chamber of Commerce. "It's great for everyone, from couples to families, to have a good time without spending a lot of money. A lot of the festival is made up of things you don't have to pay for."
Events begin bright and early Saturday, Aug. 11, with 5K and 10K "Watermelon Crawls" starting at 7 a.m.
If running isn't your thing, a 42 tournament or shopping may be right up your alley. The domino tournament begins at 8 a.m. and twice as many vendors than years past will display their goods ranging from fashionable western wear to arts and crafts all day Saturday.
Every ounce of watermelon, from the seeds to the rind, will be put to use during the festival.
Anyone who has eaten a watermelon knows to avoid swallowing the seeds, and in De Leon residents will compete to see who can spit seeds the farthest.
Residents will also put their artistic touches on melons during the carving and decorating contest at 9 a.m. in front of City Hall.
Melon sculptors will carve away at their large fruit and only edible products can be used to decorate.
"It's truly an artistic contest," said Baird. "We will have really ornate flowers, things like sharks and whales, animals, carriages - anything goes!"
Fruit is the focal point of the festival, but there is more to the event than peaches and melons.
Perhaps the most zany piece of the festival is a car implosion. The Chamber of Commerce will drain a vehicle of oil and water, crank the engine and push the accelerator to the floor while the car is in idle. Onlookers can earn a prize pack valued at $750 for guessing how long it takes before the engine blows. Chances to win will be sold at the event.
Demonstrations and speeches on local culture, history, modern-day legends and more will be given under the variety tent throughout the day Saturday.
While Saturday is the highlight of the week-long event, festivities begin Tuesday, Aug. 7, with the Miss De Leon Pageant and the kickoff of the week-long scavenger hunt.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday, ladies will vie to be crowned queen and reign over the festival and De Leon for a year.
A $100 cash prize is waiting for residents clever enough to track down the treasure hidden around town each day of the festival. Clues will be given three times a day on air on KYOX, KEQX and KQXE-FM.
The annual tractor pulls will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, followed by a Spanish and country and western dance.