For nearly six decades, the last full weekend in June has meant one thing in Luling—the annual Luling Watermelon Thump.
Each year, thousands of people make the trip to Luling for the four-day festival celebrating the sweet summer fruit. During the Watermelon Thump, local melon growers enter their largest and the best of the best are auctioned off.
This year's largest in the auction weighed in at 79.4 pounds. Louis Malagarie was part of the group of growers responsible for the champion melon. He says it takes a lot of work to maintain quality at that size.
"Make sure it's covered, make sure you wiggle it every once in a while to keep it from rotting on the bottom and you just pray," Malagarie said.
The winning melon brought in $10,000 at auction.
"It's a lot of money but it's for a good cause,” Victoria Bosquez, Watermelon Thump Queen, said, “It goes back to the watermelon growers, it goes for scholarships—it goes for a good cause."
The money is divided between the festival, a scholarship fund, but largest portion goes to the winning grower.
The Watermelon Thump wraps up Saturday evening. The schedule of events can be found at WatermelonThump.com.