Day 74: Howell Melon Festival

Howell Melon Festival
[box size=”large” border=”full”]Why it’s awesome:  This downtown Howell tradition is the perfect event for the end of the summer.[/box]
Many people are surprised by an event named after melons, but Howell has been having one for 51 years this year. The Howell Melon Festival is a tradition for the city of Howell.  It was started by the Howell Jaycees in 1960, but three years ago, it was handed over to the Howell DDA.  The Howell DDA has tried to keep many of the traditions that keep patrons coming back. The festival will be taking place August 19th, 20th and 21st.  Over 35,000 people are expected to be in attendance this year, according to Melon Festival officials, and they have a lot to look forward to.

This year, the Howell Melon Festival has a lot of entertainment for families and adults alike. The festival has been taken over by Pamela L. O’Neil, an artist from Milford and this year the new and improved Fine Arts and Wares Show boasts approximately 60 artists. The show has been moved to Walnut St. off of Grand River, across the street from the historic Howell Opera House.

To compliment the Fine Arts and Wares Show, the Howell Melon Festival will have sidewalk sales up and down Grand River Ave. More than 70 vendors ranging from Relay for Life to hot sauce companies will be on Grand River, selling and promoting many different products and causes.

A new event to the festival this year is the Antique Tractor show which will be taking place from 9am until 4pm on Saturday. The show will have plenty of  area tractors and engines as well as an antique oil tanker. The same day there will also be an antique car show down by the train depot.

If you want to ride awesome antique vehicles, you are in luck. There are steam train engine rides, steam boat rides, and trolley rides available to the public. The steam train rides will be going from 10 am until 4 pm  Steam boat rides will include lunch, dinner, and moonlight cruises.  Trolley rides will go from 11 am until 3 pm Tickets for all of these rides can be purchased online.

There will be lots of live entertainment this year as well.  There will be demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday as well as music, including festival headliners Annabelle Road and the Sundowners.  Both of these bands are alternative country outfits from the great state of Michigan.  The Sundowners features Livingston Sensation winner Carolyn Purchase.

Festival organizers guarantee that this year will be better than ever before.   ~Brittany Green, Regional Director

For more information go to their website.
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The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: alex@awesomemitten.com