After a fruitless Friday, the main attraction is finally on its way today and Sunday for the 39th Annual Watermelon Festival at Sunland Park.
The festival began as scheduled Friday without watermelon, but with plenty of rides and games and the crowning of Watermelon Queen Amber Clift, a member of a Hansen Dam equestrian club. Bill Petteplace of the Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club, which sponsors the event, said Clift reigned as Watermelon Queen last year and returned this year as a last-minute substitute for the incoming queen, who canceled.
The festival helps raise money for more than 30 community organizations.
Free watermelon is promised today and Sunday for all who attend. Entertainment, food booths and a free fingerprinting tent for children are planned.
Not appearing on the agenda, Petteplace said, are contests for biggest watermelon, tastiest recipes or farthest seed-spitting.
"There seems to be an association people have between festivals and seed-spitting," Petteplace said. "I don't know why that is, but we don't have anything like that."
The festival will run from noon to 11 p.m. today and Sunday. The park is at 8651 Foothill Blvd. in Sunland. Admission is free.