Helena Hollow kicks off summer with Watermelon Crawl

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – Summer was in full swing at Helena Hollow as many guests kicked off the season on Saturday, June 20, for the farm’s Watermelon Crawl Festival.

The festival was one of the first big events in the city following eased restrictions on public gatherings. According to Helena Hollow owner Amy Griffin, the event was well attended, and people were very good about following social distancing guidelines.

“The crowd was very manageable and everyone was very respectful of our 6 feet distance markers in lines for the attractions,” Griffin said. “Everyone was also very patient to wait for equipment to be cleaned in between children. We used a backpack fogging-misting machine to disinfect all the larger play equipment once every hour.”

One of the main reasons for hosting the festival was to make up for all of the events that had to be canceled due to COVID-19. Helena Hollow made sure that attendees of the event were able to enjoy most of Helena Hollow’s attractions as well as a wide variety of watermelon themed attractions, events and concessions.

“Penny Miller and Stacey Franklin with Remax Advantage South helped us by heading up three different watermelon eating contest sessions where contestants were given a large slice and whoever finished it down to the rind first was the winner,” Griffin explained. “Prizes for the winners of this activity were donated by Chick-fil-A, the Grove, and Porch Pride Door Hangers. Each winner got a CFA swag basket and a watermelon door hanger that Porch Pride personalized on site.”

The farm also hosted a watermelon egg hunt, which was designed to make up for the cancellation of Easter events. The egg hunt had children hunting around the farm for 45 watermelon colored eggs, each of which had prize tickets in them. Some of the prizes included art kits, T-shirts and gift cards among other things.

One of the unique parts of the event was that many of the food vendors created different watermelon themed drinks and food items for the festival.

“Dixieland Funnel Cakes served watermelon lemonade, Frio’s Pops made sure watermelon pops were in stock, Taco Magic served a homemade watermelon lime drink and Kona Ice created a signature Watermelon Crawl flavor that they offered for the day,” Griffin said.

Other food trucks for the festival included Chubbfather’s and Pazzo Big Slice Pizza. There were also 15 vendors on site selling a variety of goods.

“All in all it was a great, smooth, easy day and was promising to see that despite social distancing regulations and the new normal for the time being, we are still capable of hosting events that are pleasing and entertaining for our community,” Griffin said.