The Watermelon Festival is a staple of the summer season for Beauregard Parish and it is rapidly approaching.

Although reports of adverse weather conditions kept locals from enjoying the summer spectacle last year, the festival is set to return on June 29-30 fully loaded for those in attendance.

The festival, put on by the Beauregard Parish Tourism Commission, will kick off Friday, June 29 at 4 p.m. promising free watermelon for all during the opening ceremony.

“We love to give back to our community, and by hosting this event we can show this community how much we love and appreciate them,” Tourism Commission Director Lori Darbonne said.

This year’s festival promises two days worth of entertainment with popular musician Dustin Sonnier headlining Friday’s entertainment at 10 p.m.

Sonnier is a rising country artist whose style was described by Darbonne as a “great combination of traditional country music, blues, and swamp gold.”

Other entertainment includes magician David Gish and musical acts such as Richard LeBouef & Two Step Louisiana Gold Band, Kyle Mestayer, Ron Yule & Medicare Band, Presley's Cajun Band, Graybow Riot, Louisiana Kids and Blackbird.

Darbonne said she is excited for the upcoming festival and the new activities that this year’s festival will bring.

She said “every year we try to introduce something a little different and new. We want to have plenty of activities that all ages can participate and enjoy.”

Among the new attractions this year will be a unique live game show that will seek audience participation. The Yuck Game Show will see people selected from the audience to compete for prizes, with some participants getting “slimed” along the way.

Another new addition to this year’s festival will be a cornhole tournament sponsored by the American Legion. Registration for the tournament will be available on site with all proceeds going to benefit the American Legion.

Alongside all the new attractions will be the traditional stalwarts of the festival that the community has grown to love. There will be rides, food vendors, games, and plenty of watermelons for those in attendance to enjoy.

Keeping with previous years traditions there will be many watermelon themed activities and attractions. Darbonne emphasized that the festival activities are designed to be “family friendly” and “fun for all ages.”

She said “one of our featured events is our annual watermelon carving contest. This is one of the activities that we want to have the whole family get involved with. We are allowing those entering the competition to carve their watermelons in advance and bring them on the day of the festival.”

Admission to the watermelon festival is $5 with free admission for children three and under. A complete schedule of events and entertainment can be found by logging on to www.beauregardwatermelonfestival.com