Smiles and laughter were the theme all day long for the 57th Annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival sponsored by Chiefland Woman`s Club and the Suwannee Valley Rotary Club`s First Annual Tour de Melon Bike Ride held Saturday, June 2.
Saturday`s sunshine felt good as visitors gathered to watch one of the largest Watermelon Parades in festival history. Thousands strolled along streets lined with vendor booths that showcased a wide variety of arts and crafts. Music, food and plenty of ice cold watermelon were featured through the festivals daylong event.
An early morning sunrise brought hundreds of cyclists to Chiefland to participate in the Tour de Melon Bike Ride. A Century Ride for cyclists wishing to complete a 100 mile ride across county roads and others only wanting a recreational bike ride along the Nature Coast State Trail had been organized.
Both the Century Ride and recreational ride had delicious rest stops along their designated routes to keep cyclists safe and happy.
Pre registration had over 120 cyclists coming from all parts of Florida and several traveling from out of state. By the close of the day, over 150 cyclists participate in Tour de Melon Bike Ride. Many who had traveled the furthest were taking advantage of this part of Florida`s beautiful area by eating in local restaurants, checking out other attractions and staying overnight in Levy County`s accommodations.