RUSH SPRINGS, OK (KSWO) - Everything watermelon was all in one place Saturday on the final day of the Rush Springs 72nd annual Watermelon Festival.
Ever since 1948, this event has celebrated the rush of local seasonal watermelons with activities, carnival rides and family fun. It has grown to over 20,000 attendees every year!
It is also run by the Lions Club which helps community service projects, such as giving money to the schools and cleaning up the parks.
For many, the Rush Springs Watermelon festival is a time to enjoy delicious watermelon and the activities that comes with it. For others like Lisa McAdoo, it's a family affair and in her blood to not only enjoy it, but work it as well.
"We would get up at 6AM and be the first ones down here. I mean the carnival, the parade, all the foods," said McAdoo.
This year was also a little different for McAdoo and her family, as she lost her beloved father back in May. She says she's never been at a festival without him, but she's doing everything she can to make him proud and keep the family tradition alive.
"Actually I'm following in his footsteps. He was Chairman of the watermelon committee for 40 plus years. He loved to do it, but he was also a grower. Our name is on the largest watermelon as we've had winners and we know what it is to have winning watermelons," said McAdoo.
The chairman of the festival decided to show their support and honor the work and love they had for him, so they named a building in the park in honor of him. 'The Morris McAdoo Watermelon Exhibit Hall.' Lisa says when she saw the banner go up, she couldn't hold back the tears.
"I know he's smiling down on us and he's proud," said McAdoo.
Joe Dorman, Chairman of the festival says it's families like the McAdoo's and everyone in the community that helps make the event so special. Their goal is to pass it on to the next generation.
"To make sure we carry on those traditions of those lines that came before us and make sure we keep the festival tradition going strong," said Dorman.