Halifax Co., VA - Organizers of the Virginia Cantaloupe Festival are throwing caution to the wind this year with a new special date: Friday the 13th.
Co-Chairman Brandon Scearce says they have nothing to worry about, with the event expected to sell out in the days ahead. But, as they learned during last year's rainfall, mother nature can be unpredictable.
"It's called Summer. It happens all the time. It cleared off and I think everyone has a wonderful time, " Scearce said.
Last year's festival also saw a new date, moved up a month from July, due to concerns over excessive heat, but that meant no locally-grown cantaloupes.
"When you see big cantaloupes that look great but it's the middle of June, it's just not local," said local farmer Matthew Rich.
Rich is a local cantaloupe farmer. He says a Virginia cantaloupe festival with Georgia melons just isn't the same, but Scearce says the dangerous heat in past years left them no choice.
"One or two years, we were actually evacuated, " said Scearce.
Last year, guests were given vouchers to redeem a locally-grown cantaloupe. Once the crop was ready, and Scearce says the response was good. Now he's hoping for an equally successful event next week.
"We want people to come out and support it and have a great time, and we hope that they will, " said Scearce.
The event will kick-off Friday evening at Berry Hill Resort. Guests are allowed to bring small tents in case the weather takes a turn.