The Jefferson County Watermelon Festival is an annual event that we have celebrated for over 66 years. Watermelons are a rich part of Jefferson County’s economic and agricultural history. Did you know that the inventor of the watermelon seed separator lived right here in Jefferson County? William Girardeal developed a machine to separate watermelon seeds from their fruit shortly following the close of the American Civil War. This invention bypassed the laborious task of separating the seeds by hand.
In the early years of the Watermelon Festival, farmers gathered around the Courthouse with trucks full of watermelons to sell or give away. Today, the Festival takes up three weekends and the whole downtown of the City of Monticello.
Whether you want to participate in the Watermelon Pageants, watch the annual parade, join the Car Show, or just eat a bunch of home-grown melons, the Monticello-Jefferson Chamber is the place to start.