The long awaited annual Milan Melon Festival is taking place this weekend, with the festivities beginning 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. This year’s festival has several new features to offer that the committee is excited about.
“We’ve done a lot of new things this year,” said festival committee secretary Nichole Harder. “There’s a lot of new entertainment; we’re really playing that up.
“The concerts we put a lot of research into. We really looked into who we were going to bring,” she added.
“They’re all new acts coming this year. There won’t be any repeats. We’ve got the SHAZZBOTS on Monday as our kid’s day family oriented band. I think the whole family will really like them. Then Saturday and Sunday (we have) some cover bands coming. Some of them do country, some do rock, some do oldies music. It’s a good variety.”
There are some classic features that keep people coming back every year.
“Of course the grand parade is a huge draw,” Harder said.
“And of course, people come from all over for our ice cream – it’s the watermelon sherbet and cantaloupe ice cream. This is the only time of the year you can get it. Toft’s only makes it for the Melon Festival. It’s sold through the athletic boosters’ tent. So the proceeds go to help them. Last year we kept full until an hour before the festival closed, then we completely sold out.”
The event offers something for the whole family, according to Harder, who said it’s not only a family event, but something of a community affair.
“To be honest, our history speaks mostly for itself, so there’s that but it’s also a great community event and the whole community benefits from it,” she said.
“It’s something all can enjoy. There really is something for everyone, form the fun run on Monday morning to all high school sports event where parents can donate money to see their kids do crazy things, and that money goes back into scholarships for the school’s seniors. So it’s a big benefit. And then there’s the rides and the ice cream.
“Everyone can enjoy it. It’s truly a whole community event.”
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Here is this year’s Milan Melon Festival schedule:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 3
8 a.m. to noon - St. Anthony's Pancake Breakfast on Main St. Baby contest registration at info booth 8 to 10 a.m.
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Car Show Edison Elementary PTO at A-Field
10 a.m. - Festival opens!
Chalk Drawing Contest in front of The Invention: Ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (winners announced at 10:55 a.m.)
11 a.m. - Beautiful Baby Contest (pre-registration required)
12:30 p.m. - Watermelon Carving Contest
1 p.m. - Big Wheel Race sign up at info booth by 12:45pm
2 p.m. - Watermelon explosion
4 p.m. - Adult Pizza Eating Contest sponsored by Jim’s Pizza Box sign up at info booth by 4:15pm
5 p.m. - Milan American Legion Post 527 Milan Melon Festival Queen Contest - Stage
7 p.m. - Edison Band Concert - Stage
9 p.m. - Mark Leach performs on stage till 10:30
11 p.m. - Festival closes until Sunday
SUNDAY, SEPT. 4
9:30 a.m. - Church Service Edison United Methodist
11 a.m. - Festival opens
Fireman's Chicken BBQ - Fire Station
Christian Cloger's - stage
2 p.m. - The Grand Parade - Milan Lions Club
4 p.m. - Parade winners announced on stage
5p.m. - Milk Shake Contest sponsored by Milan Drive Thru - stage
5:30 p.m. - Salty Caramels performs on stage till 7 p.m.
8:30 p.m. - Plaid Brix performs on stage till 10 p.m.
11 p.m. - Festival closes until Monday
MONDAY, SEPT. 5 – KIDS DAY
7:30 a.m. - Register at the A-Field for 5K and Fun Run Races (Proceeds benefit EHS Cross Country)
8 to 9:30 a.m. - Corn-hole Tournament Registration at A-Field. Tournament begins at 10 a.m.
8:30 a.m. - One mile Fun Run begins
9 a.m. - Milan Melon Festival 5k begins
10 a.m. - Festival opens
10 a.m. - Pedal Pull at main stage
10 a.m. - Corn-hole tournament begins
10 a.m. - Home Depot craft tent in front of info booth
Touch a Truck till noon
The Great Brad Magician
11 a.m. - Hula Hoop contest - small stage
Noon - Jungle Rob till 1 p.m.
Noon - Sport-A-Thon - stage
1 p.m. - Watermelon Bowling
2 p.m. - Kids Pizza Eating Contest
2:30 to 4 p.m. - SHAZZBOTS performs on stage
5:45 p.m. - Drawings - Kids Gift Card (Must have wristband on and be present to win.)
6 p.m. - Festival closes until 2017