The watermelon is as old as time, with the first harvest taking place almost 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Even earlier than this, the watermelon was believed to originate from the Kalahari Desert in Africa.
Chinchilla hosts the Chinchilla Melon Festival every two years that is acclaimed nationally appealing to many people from all over Australia. Several thousand adults and children attend the occasion that lasts for several days. In fact, in excess of 25 per cent of watermelons that are grown in Australia actually originate from this town. The festival is held in honor of the locality’s most important agricultural product.
Australians can certainly be relied upon to bring watermelons “to life”. During the festival there are a huge number of “melon events” such as Melon Heads, Melon Bullseye, Melon Bungy and Watermelon Skiing. The street parade is not to be missed as there are numerous colorful floats on show. Over 1,000 watermelons, honeydew melons and rockmelons will either be used or consumed at the festival.
However, out of all the events, the most fun can be had by watching or better still participating in Watermelon Skiing.
So, what is involved in this event?
Firstly, a very long tarpaulin is placed on the ground and is then made very slippy by lubricating it with the flesh of a number of watermelons. Participants, both young and old, stand one at a time at one end of the tarpaulin. Both their feet are then each placed into watermelons that have been scooped out at which point they are almost ready to begin.
Two other people who are standing at either side of the tarpaulin have hold of a thick rope that the contestant stood in the watermelons will hold onto. The two individuals holding onto the rope start to run down the course gradually gaining pace pulling the watermelon skier along behind each of them. All the contestant has to do is stay on his or her feet for as long as possible with the winner being the person who either travels the longest distance before falling over or completes the course without falling over.
It has to be said that many people fail to get to the end of the course without having some mishap and falling over. Hopefully, you will not suffer any major injuries but care is needed as the two people pulling the rope that you are holding onto will not make things easy for you. By the time you have finished the watermelon skiing you can expect to get rather wet and sticky so bring a spare set of clothes and find somewhere suitable to have a good wash.
This is a very popular event so you should get along to the venue as quickly as possible on the day of the occasion. Invite as many of your friends as possible to shout words of encouragement whilst you are making a fool of yourself.
You may already have participated in some crazy events but watermelon skiing is likely to rank amongst one of the craziest, so get in on it at this year’s Chinchilla Melon Festival!
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