41st Annual Hope Watermelon Festival Schedule of Events for 2017


The Annual Hope Watermelon Festival in nearby Hope, Arkansas is Southwest Arkansas’ Largest 3-Day Arts & Craft Show and takes place at Hope’s Fair Park August 10 – 12 with all of that good festival food, a Bass Tournament, and live music including Festival headliner Joe Diffie on Saturday. Here is the schedule of events with times and locations…

Here in the 41st year of the Hope Watermelon Festival the list of activities, events, and entertainments just gets larger and more exciting. This year’s headlining musical act is country recording artist Joe Diffie.


Thursday, August 10
Noon – Arts Crafts & Concessions open
4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Kiwanis BBQ Chicken Supper (Community Center)
6:30 p.m. Hand-dipped Ice Cream at the Coliseum.

Friday, August 11
9:00 a.m. Arts, Crafts, & Concessions open
4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Lions Club Fish Fry (Community Center)
6:30 p.m. Dog Show (Bancorp South Stage)
7:00 p.m. Invitational Softball Tournament – Day 1 (Kelly Field)
Baggo Tournament (Legion Field)
Hand-dipped Icecream (Coliseum)

Saturday, August 12
6:00 a.m. 20th Annual Big Bass Classic (Millwood Lake/Yarborough Landing)
7:30 a.m. Watermelon 5K Run/Walk (Fair Park Gate)
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Watermelon Festival Car Show (near Swimming Pool)
8:45 a.m. Melon Mile Kid’s Fun Run (Pool Area)
9:00 a.m. Arts &Crafts open
9:00 a.m. Invitational Softball Tournament – Day 2 (Kelly Field)
9:00 a.m. BINGO (Coliseum)
10:00 a.m. Money in the Haystack (near Super 1 Tent)
11:00 a.m. TaeKwonDo Demo (Hope Auto/Farmer’s Bank Stage)
11:30 a.m. Politically Correct Watermelon Eating Contest (Bancorp South Stage)
12:00 p.m. Watermelon Eating Contest (Bancorp South Stage)
1:00 p.m. Seed Spitting Contest (Hope Auto/Farmer’s Bank Stage)
2:00 p.m. Arm-wrestling Contest (Bankcorp South Stage)
4:00 p.m. Bench Press Competition (Bancorp South Stage)
7:00 p.m. Gates Open for Joe Diffie Concert (Legion Field/CMC Stage)
7:30 p.m. Dillon Cate
8:25 p.m. Watermelon Idol Winner
8:30 p.m. Joe Diffie


Bancorp South Stage
Thursday, August 10
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Carl Jackson

Friday, August 11
6:30 p.m. Dog Show

Saturday, August 12
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Harold Massey (Gospel)

McDonald’s Stage (inside Coliseum)
Thursday, August 10
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Abbie & Ashley Fleener

Friday, August 11
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Abbie & Ashley Fleener
6:00 p.m. Little Miss & Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant

Saturday, August 12
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mexican Folklore Dancers

Hope Auto/Farmer’s Bank Stage (in front of Coliseum)
Thursday, August 10
4:30 p.m. Nighthawk
6:00 p.m. Watermelon Idol Preliminary

Friday, August 11
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Denisha Ann (R&B)
6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Harold Massey (Gospel)

Saturday, August 12
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Southwest Arkansas TaeKwonDo

CMC Steel Products Stage/Legion Field
Saturday, August 12
6:00 p.m. Watermelon Idol Finals
7:30 p.m. Dillon Cate
8:25 p.m. Watermelon Idol Winner
8:30 p.m. Joe Diffie

Follow the 41st Annual Watermelon Festival on the Facebook Event Page, visit HopeMelonfest.com, or call the Hope Chamber of Commerce at (870) 777-3640.


About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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