August 18-19, 2023


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Festival Hours:

Friday, August 18: 6:45 PM – 10 PM
Saturday, August 19: 10 AM – 10 PM


Friday, August 18, 2023
6:00 PM – Festival Begins
6:45 PM – Opening Ceremony, Main Stage
7:00 PM – Tremayne
8:30 PM – The Velcro Pygmies

Saturday, August 19, 2023
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Car Show 
7:30 AM – Watermelon 5K Begins (1 Mile Fun Run immediately after)
10:00 AM – Festival Begins
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Character Guests, in front of Valley State Bank
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – Watermelon Contests, Russellville First Baptist Church Park
6:00 PM – Rewind of the Shoals
7:00 PM – Austin Bohannon
8:30 PM – Colt Ford
10:00 PM – Festival Ends

Attendance Rules

Watermelon Festival Vendor Information

Vendor Applications for the 2023 Franklin County Watermelon Festival are currently CLOSED.
2024 Vendor Applications will be available in April/May.

To complete the vendor application, please do the following:

  1. Click to open the fillable PDF (this opens the file in your browser; do not open in Google Docs)
  2. Complete all form fields
  3. SAVE the PDF to your device
  4. Email completed PDF to [email protected]
  5. Please include photos of your products & booth set up with your application

“Early Bird” Discount Deadline is Friday, June 9, 2023.
Vendor Application Deadline is Monday, July 10, 2023.

Check-In & Set Up Times:
*Vendors must check-in at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce to receive their booth assignment*

Vendor Rules & Regulations

Watermelon in the Park – Cutting & Contests

Russellville First Baptist Church Park
201 Washington Ave NW, Russellville, AL 35653

11 AM – Registration
12 PM – Weighing & Judging Starts
1 PM – Winners Announced

Watermelon Contests Categories:

Largest Weighing Watermelon from Franklin County
Largest Weighing Watermelon
Most Unusual Watermelon
Best Tasting Watermelon
Best Dressed Watermelon
Seed Spitting Contest

Watermelon Festival Contest Rules

Watermelon Pageant Information

2023 Franklin County Watermelon Pageant
Saturday, July 15, 2023, 10:00 AM

Applications for the 2023 Watermelon Pageant are closed.

2023 Franklin County Watermelon Festival Pageant Queens

Queens will be presented at the Watermelon Festival Opening Ceremony on August 18th. The Watermelon Festival Queen (Age 18-21) will also be responsible for cutting the first watermelon at the Opening Ceremony, awarding prizes at the Watermelon Festival, riding in the Russellville Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 7, 2023 and crowning at the 2024 Watermelon Pageant. 

2023 Miss Watermelon Festival Queen:
Miss Silvie Kaye Miller

Watermelon Festival T-shirts!

Our T-shirts are on sale now! This year, we added a cap to our collection!
Available colors are Navy, Tropical Blue, Safety Pink, Kiwi, & Sports Gray
Sizes and prices are as follows:

Infant (Kiwi only)- $10
6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4T

Youth – $15
XS, S, M, L, XL

Adult – $15
S, M, L, XL

Adult – $18
2XL, 3XL, 4XL

Adult Long Sleeve (Gray only) – $20
S, M, L, XL, 2XL

Embroidered Richardson 112 Trucker Cap – $25

Watermelon Run 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run


5K and 1 Mile Fun Run!

Saturday, August 21, 2021
Russellville High School Field House
Race Day Registration begins at 6:00 AM

5K begins at 7:30 AM with the 1 Mile Fun Run beginning immediately after.

For more information & online registration: 


*Presented by the Russellville High School Cross Country Team*

Main Stage Entertainment Line Up


Friday (8/18)

5:45 PM – Opening Ceremony
National Anthem: Tara Greenhill

7:00 PM
– Tremayne

8:30 PM – Velcro Pygmies

Saturday (8/19) 

6:00 PM – REWIND

7:00 PM – Austin Bohannon

8:30 PM – Colt Ford


2023 Franklin County Watermelon Festival Sponsors

Contact our office for information about Franklin County Watermelon Festival Sponsorship.
[email protected]


American Champion Sponsors

Royal Jubilee Sponsors

Legacy Sponsors

Franklin County Arts & Humanities Council

Crimson Sweet Sponsors

Best Western

Community Spirit Bank

Country Cottage

Econo Lodge

EXIT River City Realty

First Metro Bank

Franklin County Development Authority

Franklin County Commission

Franklin County Times

Listerhill Credit Union


Morgan Chiropractic

Oliver Creamery

Rhett Bradford – State Farm

Russellville Florist & Gifts

Tennessee Valley Pediatrics

TriGreen Equipment Leighton

Twisted Performance & Machine

Valley Credit Union

Vulcan Materials Company

Liberty Sponsors

Big Star
G&G Steel

Green’s Dependable Hardware
Northwest-Shoals Community College

Strickland & Barksdale
Town of Hodges

Harmony Sponsors

Babes & Tots Group Home Daycare
City of Red Bay
Eye Care Professionals
Franklin Electric Cooperative
Hester & James
J.T. Ray Company
Pinakard Funeral Homes
Red Bay Pharmacy
Redmont Pharmacy
Russellville Civitan
Russellville Water & Sewer Board
Sinclair Lawrence & Associates

Voted Best of the Best 2021, 2022, & 2023!

Franklin County Watermelon Festival
Voted Best Adults and Children’s Events in the Tennessee Valley

The Franklin County Watermelon Festival began in 1981 and is the largest festival in Franklin County.

This spectacular family event offers two days of non-stop music, contests and entertainment, as well as, a pageant, arts & crafts, 5k run, antique car & truck show, tasty festival foods, tractor show, and a slice of FREE watermelon!

Franklin County Declared the
Watermelon Capital of Alabama

In 2013, Senator Roger Bedford and Representative Johnny Mack Morrow was successful in passing a resolution in the Alabama Legislature declaring Franklin County “Watermelon Capital of Alabama”.

WF Capital

From Left to Right: Representative Johnny Mack Morrow, Senator Roger Bedford, Bobby Bolton originator of the annual Watermelon Festival, Cassie Medley, Franklin County Executive Director, Russellville Mayor David Grissom, Kreg Kennedy, District Field Representative for U. S. Senator Robert Aderholt, Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce President (2013) Mike Shewbart.