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US: Watermelon Thump attracts thousands in Luling

The Town of Luling is gearing up for its 57th annual Luling Watermelon Thump this weekend.

Thousands turn out annually for the four-day outdoor festival honoring the notorious summer fruit, Watermelon.

Curtis Gibson's field of potential champions sits on the edge of Luling, down a dusty farm road.

"Black Diamond is a type, and that's the type we enter in the Thump," he said.

Gibson is new to competitive melon growing, but he has some tricks up his sleeves.

He keeps the biggest watermelon fenced in, so the hogs and deer don't eat them. He also covers the potential prize winners with weeds to block the sun from scorching them.

But many in Luling compete in the Watermelon growing competition, and they say growing the biggest melon is as much about luck as it is skill.

"Plant them and then see if you're going to get anything, if anything is really going to grow," 2009 Watermelon Thump Queen RaVana Damon said.

Queens and largest watermelons aren't the only awarded prizes.

"Watermelon eating and spitting seeds go hand in hand when you eat a watermelon," Seed Spitting Competition Chairman Jamie Nickells said.

Spitting seeds is about more than bragging rights.

"Possibly for a world-record spit. Currently that spit in Luling is 68 feet and 9 1/8 inches," he said.

Anyone able to break the world record can walk away $1,000.

The Luling Watermelon Thump kicks of Thursday evening with the crowning of a new Thump Queen.

Click to view a video

Publication date: 6/25/2010
Author: Shailaja VR


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