April 3, 2020

Contestants get ready to participate in a watermelon eating contest during the 50th annual Watermelon Carnival in Water Valley, Miss. on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Water Valley has unofficially broken the Guinness World Records mark for the Largest Watermelon-Eating Contest with 754 participants competing simultaneously, beating the record set last year in Safety Harbor, Fla, which had 259 participants. The evidence will be submitted to Guinness World Records for validation. (Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle)

Mississippi appears to have broken watermelon-eating world record

The small Mississippi town of Water Valley held the 50th Watermelon Carnival this past weekend, and to commemorate the milestone, etched the town’s name into the record books.

Residents of Water Valley, along with visitors from across the country, descended upon the Crawford Sports Complex Saturday night to form the world’s largest watermelon-eating contest, unofficially setting a new Guinness World Record.

The town of Safety Harbor, Fla., which had 259 people eat watermelon simultaneously during an event last summer, holds the current world record. The unofficial number of people who ate watermelon in Water Valley on Saturday night is 754, but event organizers anticipate the official number could drop by around 15 due to various reasons, including participants leaving during a summer storm that popped up prior to the event.

“I thought it was very awesome that people stood in the rain for two-and-a-half hours,” even co-chair Tonya Eubanks said. “I was just blown away, to be honest with you, that that amount of people stood in the rain and had a good time. It was awesome to be a part of a small town that did it in the rain – that wanted to be there whether it was 100 degrees or pouring down rain. They were all there.”

Eubanks said that while most participants were from Water Valley, the contest did have people from as far away as Las Vegas and New York in attendance.

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