The small Queensland town of Chinchilla, Australia, is the host of one of the strangest festivals in the outback. Occurring every two years, the town of Chinchilla’s watermelon festival takes center stage in the town, allowing visitors to enjoy the festivities and blow off some steam as they partake in the many events that draw in the crowds. One such event, fruit skiing, has quickly become one of the most popular events, despite being one of its most dangerous. During the competition, participants strap watermelons to their feet and traverse a path of smashed fruit as they attempt to cross the finish line with the fastest time.
Fruit skiing is not the only competitive event at the Chinchilla Melon Festival. Visitors that wish to partake in a safer sport can settle for the pip spitting event, while others choose bungee jumping. Still, the fruit skiing competition is the highlight of the entire festival.
According to Metro U.K., the fruit skiing event was born over a discussion between a group of friends as they were drinking some beers and discussing the festival. Regardless of the beginnings, veterans of the festival are in love with fruit skiing. One unnamed veteran shared his strategy at winning.
“It’s all about the start, you have to keep your melons moving. Because otherwise you’re stuck to the runway so when they pull you just tip over and get a lot of melon in your face.”
The Melon Festival draws in more than 15,000 people to the Outback bordering town and imports nearly 20 tons of melons that are used throughout the entire weekend. Doug McNally, the president of the Chinchilla Melon Festival is constantly in awe of the draw each event brings, especially this year’s events.
“That was our biggest event by at least a few thousand people. It’s not often there are traffic jams in Chinchilla, but it was gridlocked around town on Friday afternoon.”
In addition to fruit skiing and pip spitting, a free family concert capped off the festivities. Dean Ray, an X Factor runner up, and McAlister Kemp rocked the crowds through the night.
Rumors of the Chinchilla Melon Festival’s demise were abundant as the crowds filled into the event. However, the founding president reassured everyone that the festival would not only return in two years, but would be “stronger and harder, with each passing year.”
[Photo Courtesy: Fun Over Fifty; Image courtesy of randomstory.org]