The 35th Annual Sunland-Tujunga Lions Watermelon Festival got off to a slow start Friday afternoon at Sunland Park. The watermelons are not even arriving until today.
And that’s what brings out the crowds. The Lions Club, which hopes to make between $10,000 and $12,000 on the festival, plans to give out six tons of free watermelon today and Sunday, said club member Bert Gustelius of Tujunga, who on Friday was trying to get attendees to buy raffle tickets for a new mountain bike.
But why watermelons and not, say, cantaloupes?
“Watermelons has more of a ring to it,” Gustelius said.
There’s even a Watermelon Queen, chosen by the service group that sells the most $1 tickets to the festival. This year, the honor went to 15-year-old Amber Clift, from the Blue Shadows equestrian club of Shadow Hills.
“I don’t know if she likes watermelons. I sure hope she does,” Gustelius said.
The festival hours are noon to 10 p.m. today and Sunday.
Admission is free.
Sunland Park is located at 8651 Foothill Blvd.