May 25, 2020

SummerFest 2019 draws thousands to Downtown Franklin

The Piggly Wiggly Watermelon Eating Contest was huge fun for all the kids and the adults

(Franklin, GA) — Thousands of spectators from throughout the West Georgia/East Alabama areas descended on downtown Franklin last Saturday night for SummerFest 2019 — the annual community celebration and fireworks show to celebrate the nation’s independence.

Charles Hudgins headlined the musical acts at Summer Fest

The event kicked off at 5:00 pm on the square where patrons enjoyed food, drinks, a dunking booth, train rides, games, and much more provided by 50+ vendors.

Festival goers enjoyed live music by local favorites Hunter Flanagan, Josh Purgason and Charles Hudgins who performed under the gazebo.

As always one of the premier attractions was the watermelon eating contest sponsored by the Piggly Wiggly that offered cash prizes to those willing to chow down on some melons at breakneck speed.

Trey Gardner from Franklin was the top prize winner in the 10-17 year old division while Breanna Jenkins of Pine Mountain claimed the top prize in the 9 and under division.

In the always very competitive adult division, Marley Mallard from Carrollton was the big winner.

Mother nature was kind to festival organizers and attendees as the entire event went by without a drop of rainfall — a rarity over the past decade or so of the event.

The beautiful weather and the event falling on a Saturday this year with not much competition from nearby towns, the event drew one of the largest crowds in the history of the event.

Local disc jockey Rick Gore closed out the festivities by playing tunes for the ‘Street Dance.’

9U Watermelon Eating Champion Breanna Jenkins from Pine Mountain

According to Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah, from a security and safety standpoint the night went very well as everyone enjoyed the latest edition of Summerfest and the Chief was thankful for the much-needed assistance from other communities.

“We are very appreciative of the support we receive each year from the Heard County Sheriff’s Office and other neighboring law enforcement agencies. This assistance is extremely important in making our event safe and enjoyable for the community and those visiting,” said Chief Hannah.

New Heard County Chamber of Commerce Director Melinda Brown received much praise for her hard work to make the event such a big success. Brown was pleased with the large turnout and participation of the vendors.

“I was so proud of the attendance of the vendors and our community coming together to celebrate our nation’s independence,” said Brown after the event.

The Chamber President was also thankful for the volunteers that made the event possible.

“The Heard County Chamber of Commerce would also like to thank our volunteers, City of Franklin, Mayor Joel Rogers, Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah, Karen Boyd, Franklin Police, Heard County Sheriff’s Deputies, Heard County EMA, County Commission Chairman – Lee Boone, Heard County employees, Heard County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Rosa Moreland, and the Brown family and friends that worked so hard in the heat,” said Brown. “It was a success because of everyone pulling together for our community. Heard County is the best place to live and work.”

The Chamber would especially like to thank the event sponsors and contributors Rivers Edge Waterjet Technologies, Inc., The Heard County Chamber’s Millennium Club Members, Georgia Container & Portable Toilets of Georgia, Carroll EMC, Oglethorpe Power, Heard County Development Authority, The City of Franklin, Heard County Commissioners, State Representative Randy Nix, John Thornton Cadillac, Georgia Power Company, Coweta-Fayette EMC, Diverse Power, Piggly Wiggly of Franklin, Heard County Concrete, Five Star Manufactured Homes, Inc., Metro West Realty, Southern A & E, LLC, Russ Massa – The Heard Citizen. com, The Times-Journal/News and Banner Newspapers, Brad Yates – Franklin News Break, and Coleman Vice – Eagle 102.3.

Josh Purgason performs under the gazebo during SummerFest 2019

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