CHIPLEY - The numbers are in, and the official attendance of the 62nd annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival topped 7,000, making it the largest PWF event to date.
Entertainers for Friday night’s concert were country stars Paul Overstreet, Wendell Mobley, Deana Carter and Joe Nichols.
The festivities continued Saturday with the PWF Pancake Breakfast at the Panhandle Shrine Club on Brickyard Road, the annual PWF Hot Trot 5K and Kids’ Fun Run, the Watermelon Parade and the Watermelon Car Show.
Former Washington County Coordinator David Corbin returned as auctioneer for the watermelon auction. The Grand Champion Watermelon, a 99-pound Carolina Cross grown by Ed Tice, sold for $1,450 to Senator George Gainer. All proceeds from the auction benefit the PWF’s efforts to fund future events, helping provide free, family entertainment to the community.
PWF Chairman Colby Peel expressed his appreciation for all those who made the festival possible as he addressed the crowd Friday night.
“It is wonderful to look out and see so many families enjoying this event,” he said. “It makes it all worth it.”