Watermelon Park, located in Berryville, Virginia, is a local favorite for camping, tubing and kayaking during the summer months, but once summer winds down the Watermelon Park and Shepards Ford Production crews gear up for one the town’s biggest events of the year, the Watermelon Park Festival.
The last weekend of September brings the Watermelon Park Country and Bluegrass Festival that delivers around 3,500 visitors. This particular festival has quite the history, in existence since 1960, it is one of the first bluegrass festivals in the country. The location has hosted many well known bluegrass, blues, and country music legends such as Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe and Patsy Cline just to name a few. Not only does this roots-loving festival book and support famous headliners like Loretta Lynn, but also up and coming local bands, and gives them a chance to win a slot in the festival lineup.
Every year, 10 to 20 bands compete in a battle of the bands for a chance to win $1,000 and a slot to debut on the following year’s festival lineup! Not to mention there is a pickin’ contest and first prize winner is awarded a beautiful Weber mandolin. “Besides loving the location of the festival, it’s great Bluegrass territory. The people at Watermelon Fest are great to work with and give us continuous support for what we love to do, build beautiful instruments to place in excited players’ hands. We have heard from a bunch of players that have attended that the secondary name should be ‘Weber Fest’ for the incredible number of our instruments played there.” For all of those competing for the Weber mandolin we wish you the best of luck!