No date has been set for the 2021 Watermelon Festival.


35th Annual NC Watermelon Festival

July 29 - August 1, 2020

Historic Downtown Murfreesboro, NC


Little Mr. Farmer Contest

Open to 4-5 year olds. Contestants will ride in the Festival Parade on Saturday, August 3 at 10:00 and the contest will follow.
Application and additional details available from Ms. Debbie Edwards at (252) 398-3911.


Little Ms. Farmer Contest

Open to 4-5 year olds. Contestants will ride in the Festival Parade on Saturday, August 3 at 10:00 and the contest will follow.
Application and additional details available from Ms. Debbie Edwards at (252) 398-3911.


Little Princess Contest

On Saturday, August 3, the girls will ride in the 10:00 a.m. parade on a float and then compete in the contest following the parade.  
Download Contest Guidelines
Advance registration is required.  Download registration form here.  Registration deadline: July 24, 2019
This contest is only open to girls who are 5 years of age by August 1.



 NC Watermelon Association

Miss Amy Arnold was crowned as the 2019 North Carolina Watermelon Queen during the 38th Annual North Carolina Watermelon Association Convention held March 1-2, 2019 in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Amy is the 22 year old daughter of Andrew & Melinda Arnold of Washington, NC. She is a 2019 graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Horticultural Science. Amy will begin work on her Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture in the College of Design at North Carolina State University in the fall of 2019.

She enjoys scuba diving, playing the violin, painting and volunteering with 4-H in her community. She also enjoys hunting and fishing. She is a member of the NCSU Agri-Life Council, Agronomy Club and serves as a student adviser to the Dean of the College of Ag and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

As North Carolina Watermelon Queen, Amy will travel throughout North Carolina and the United States, serving as a spokesperson for the watermelon industry. Amy will hold the state title for one year and in February 2020 will represent North Carolina for the title of National Watermelon Queen at the National Watermelon Association Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Theme: "Honoring Those Who Served"

Saturday, August 3, 2019 - Rain or Shine!

Main Street Murfreesboro - 10:00 AM

Parade Entry Form Download - Due July 26, 2019



2018 Watermelon Festival Parade Grand Marshal:

Nick Augostini, Asst. Director, Horticulture & Seafood
North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Nick has worked in the produce industry for over 40 years.  For the past 20 years, he has worked for the state of North Carolina:  13 years as a marketing specialist, seven years as Assistant Director of Marketing for the Department of Agriculture, and two years as a produce buyer for the Department of Corrections.  Prior to his work in North Carolina, Nick owned and operated a wholesale produce business in upstate New York.

2018 Watermelon Festival Parade Celebrity Marshal:

Don Roberts, WAVY-TV 10

Don Roberts is WAVY-TV’s “Marathon Man.” He co-anchors 5 1/2 hours of news a day, first as co-host of the number-1 rated morning newscast in Hampton Roads: WAVY News 10 Today and WAVY News 10 Midday. Don joined WAVY-TV in 1989. Before that, he was the news and production director at radio station WRAP-AM. Don is an award-winning reporter, and a published author. Well known for his love of softball and chess, Don is a graduate of Towson University. Originally from Baltimore, Don and his family now reside in Newport News.


Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 10:00AM

Race begins at 10 AM sharp. Course closes at 11 AM.

Cost is $25 before August 2, $30 on race day. Race day registration and pre-registered number pick-up begins at 8:45 AM on the lawn of Murfreesboro Baptist Church (200 W. Main St.).

Register Online

Mail-In Registration Form

runners in 5k

Now in its 14th year, the NC Watermelon Festival 5K has become one of the most popular summer road races in northeastern North Carolina.  Runners lead off the annual Watermelon Festival parade down Main Street in historic Murfreesboro, then wind their way through the campus of Chowan University and the lakefront residential part of town. Our 5K course is USTAF certified (NC-06024-PH).

All proceeds from the race go to support summer children's reading programs at the Elizabeth Sewell Parker Public Library in downtown Murfreesboro.

All registered 5K participants will receive an official Murfreesboro watermelon. The first 100 participants are guaranteed official race shirts. Awards will be given to overall men's and women's champions, and 1st/2nd/3rd place finishers in each age category:  14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and over.


Please send any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Entertainment Schedule

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
7:00 PM - Band of Oz

Thursday, July 30,  2020
7:00 PM - The Main Event Band

Friday, July 31, 2020
7:00 PM - North Tower

Saturday, August 1, 2020
7:00 PM - Pizazz

Full schedule of events

2019 Sponsors


Platinum Sponsorship

Glover Construction

Silver Sponsorship

Chowan University

Murfreesboro Farms, Inc.
NC Watermelon Association
Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital

Real Country 101.7 WLQM

Business Patron

Brown's Mobile Home Sales
Bryant & Lassiter Septic Tank Service
Commercial Ready Mix
Expressions by Tim and Lorrie
Hill Realty
Metal Tech of Murfreesboro
Napoli's Pizza
NC Farm Bureau - Hertford County
Nucor Steel Hertford
WDLZ - Earl - 98.3 Murfreesboro
WPTM - Maverick - 102.3 Roanoke Rapids
WQDK - The Bull - 99.3 Ahoskie