In the mood for tractor pulls, funnel cakes, great Texas music, fresh fruit and carnival rides? Then head over to De Leon, where the 96th annual Peach and Melon Festival is under way.

Since the festival began in 1914, De Leon's 2,400 residents welcome more than 20,000 festival-goers to the annual event.

Linda Leven, executive director of the De Leon Chamber of Commerce, said this year's event is bigger and better than ever.

On Tuesday, the festival kicked off with the crowning of the "Little Miss" and Peach and Melon Queen.

The fun continues today with a Mardi Gras-style street parade at 7 p.m., a concert featuring Courtney Patton, Larry Joe Taylor and Six Market Blvd. at 7:30 and a melon auction at 9.

Lovers of all things big and loud will enjoy the tractor pulls at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the pull arena.

But things really get rolling on what's been dubbed "Golden Saturday."

That's when Leven said more than 60 arts and crafts and food vendors will be set up in the community park and downtown area.

"Saturday is always a really great day," Leven said. "We hope everyone will come out and have fun."

Saturday begins bright and early at 8 a.m. when more than 700 cyclists take part in an 8, 18, 29, 42 and 71-mile ride. Registration will be held from 5-10 p.m. Friday and reopen at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

If bike riding isn't your thing, then consider taking part in a 42 tournament at 8 a.m. in the city auditorium.

From 9 a.m.-3 p.m., enjoy a slew of outdoor activities, vendors and musical entertainment.

At 10 a.m. there will be an ex-students' meeting at the elementary school for De Leon alumni followed by a spaghetti luncheon at noon at the Senior Citizens' Complex, which will be open to the public.

The fun continues at 1 p.m. with a seed spitting contest, followed by a watermelon eating contest at 2 and melon slicing at 3.

Ryan Todd and the Outlaws of the Savannah will take the stage at 9 p.m. until the crowning and presentation of Miss De Leon at 10:30 p.m. The dance will continue at 11:30.