Wilde About Texas: Luling's Watermelon Thump
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Watermelon is a summertime staple and no town is has more pride in its melon than Luling.
The Watts are a family of fruit growers. Allen Watts was basically raised in a watermelon field.
"My grandpa raised watermelon and then my daddy took over raising watermelon. I helped daddy all my life and then whenever he finally passed on, I kept doing it," Watts said.
For more than six decades, he's been in the business, but this week has his work cut out for him as he prepares for Luling's Watermelon Thump. The city’s annual thump brings thousands of people to town, all wanting a sweet slice of the sweet fruit.
"We got to move in at least 1,000 watermelons just to run thump weekend," Watts said.
There are several varieties with different rinds and different colored flesh, but at the thump, Black Diamonds are king.
"This is what Luling is known for. This is what you can enter in the Thump auction. You have to enter a Black Diamond. The biggest Black Diamond wins," Watts Melons representative Sarah Moore said.
Winning can mean big money. The top melons sell for thousands of dollars.
For Watts, his favorite part of the festival is watching little ones devour his crop.
"To see the smile on a child's face whenever they're enjoying a good watermelon and just really getting into it," he said.
The Luling Watermelon Thump kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and runs through Sunday. You can find the full schedule at WatermelonThump.com.