The calendar has flipped to the month of July, meaning that it is almost time to celebrate the summer melon that made the community of Ridgeway famous from Warren County to New York. The 2019 Cantaloupe Festival and 5k will be held Saturday, July 13, in the area near Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department, 660 U.S. Hwy. 1.
A day of activities for people of all ages is planned.
Sponsored by the Ridgeway Historical Society, the 6th Annual Ridgeway Cantaloupe 5k will begin at 8 a.m. on Ridgeway-Drewry Road at the festival parking entrance. Competitive and recreational runners, as well as walkers, are welcome.
Registration may be completed online at clockworkracetiming.com or by contacting Tommy Tucker at 252-213-0429. The entry fee is $30.
Registration is also open all day Friday, July 12, at the Ridgeway Community Center behind the Cantaloupe Shed, and from 6-7:30 a.m. on the day of the race.
Runners will follow a route down Ridgeway-Drewry Road to a turnaround point near St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. A water station will be set up at the church. Participants will follow the reverse route back to the start/finish line.
Awards will be presented as soon as results are finalized following the race. Awards will be presented to the top three overall finishers in the male and female categories, and to the top three male and female finishers in the following age categories: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and over.
Running with strollers is permitted. However, for safety reasons, running with dogs will not be allowed.
The Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival, sponsored by the Ridgeway Historical Society and the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department, will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the grounds behind the Cantaloupe Shed. Parking, at a cost of $1, will be available off Ridgeway-Drewry Road.
The event will begin with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m., which will include Trina Paynter singing the National Anthem.
People of all ages are invited to bring lawn chairs and relax under the shade trees near the community center for a day of music and other entertainment.
The festival will include a number of activities for children including Boho the Clown and Character Antics’ magic show, bounce houses, water slide and other inflatables, and the Warrenton Posse offering horseback rides.
The Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department will sell Brunswick stew by the quart at the Cantaloupe Shed. The Ridgeway Historical Society will offer Brunswick stew for lunch and hot dogs at the community center.
Other foods that will be available include cantaloupes, watermelons, chicken, turkey legs, barbecued ribs, sausage dogs, ice cream, cotton candy, candy apples, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob and more.
Vendors will offer crafts, jewelry, antiques and collectibles, clothing, hats, honey, cosmetics, woodworking, cutlery and a variety of other items. There is still space for craft and other non-food vendors. To register, call 252-213-0429.
The festival has become a summertime tradition for people in the local area and for people visiting from points far beyond. Many Warren County natives return to their home community for a day of fun.
People visiting family and friends often put the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival on their list of places to go while they are in the area. Still others discover Ridgeway for the first time and begin a tradition of attending the festival every year.
No matter what brings them to Ridgeway, people usually leave knowing that attending just one Cantaloupe Festival will not be enough.