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Luling Watermelon Thump
Luling Watermelon Thump
421 E. Davis St.
Luling,TX 78648
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In 1954, Hermon Allen, principal of the Luling Elementary School, proposed the idea of a celebration to honor the growers and promote the Luling watermelon market. A contest was held to name the event and the winner was a young man from Luling High School, Mr. Carol Ferguson. From that time, the Thump has been held the last Thursday through Saturday in June. For the 47th celebration organizers were happy to announce that the festival would be extended by one day to include Sunday. We are proudly celebrating our 52nd anniversary this year on June 23 - 26, 2005. Time changes everything and the Thump has been no exception. Numerous events and attractions have been added and the 4 day annual event now draws an estimated 40,000 visitors to a town of 5,000. In 1962, the biggest Black Diamond champion melon in the festival’s history weighed in at over 80 pounds. The melon was purchased at auction for a whopping $400 one-tenth of the record price paid in 1989, by a group of Luling businessmen. Through the years, two brothers-in-law have volleyed back and forth as holders of the most champion melon titles. The tally now stands at six championships for one and seven for the other and in most other years the duo has managed to “place” or “show” in the event. The Black Diamond, popular in the 1950’s, is the only acceptable variety for Championship honors, but its use as a shipping melon has fallen to the bright green, striped Jubilee melon with its dark red meat, which is now the primary kind grown around Luling. The Thump has gained recognition in past years by sending the champion melon to celebrities. Art Linkletter received several, Johnny Carson was presented the 1972 champ, and President Ronald Reagen got the 1981 big melon. The 1989 Champion was displayed and devoured on the popular country-western show “Nashville Now”, and in 1992 the grand champion made its debut on the popular “Crook and Chase: program. Spitting champions have also been featured guests on the Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, the Regis and Kathy Lee Show, and Howie Mandell’s show.
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