The Unusual Festival That Replaces Skis With Watermelons

The unassuming watermelon has long been a symbol of summer, a fruit-of-choice for the hot and thirsty masses seeking a refreshing source of hydration. And its association with this season of outdoor fun has helped to shape everyone's impression of who this large, bulbous, green melon really is. 

It's said to be a party animal, allowing itself to be spiked with vodka, used as a rum punch bowl (a watermelon punchbowl hack that even Martha Stewart swears by), or pureed for a cocktail. It has partaken in entertaining competitions like seeing who can eat watermelon the fastest without using their hands or who can spit their seeds the furthest (per Party Game Ideas). There was even a time when, thanks to TikTok, eating mustard on watermelon actually became a thing. Instagram had people carving out tiny watermelon dresses and holding them up to their images, so it would look like they were wearing frocks made from melon, according to Her. And Nintendo Switch honored the fruit with its Watermelon Party game. 

Yes, this cheerily-colored melon of pink (some will argue red) and green, likes to enjoy itself. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to make this up-for-fun fruit the star of its own festival. 

It is recommend that you don watermelon attire

Welcome to the Chinchilla Melon Festival, a biennial event in Chinchilla, Australia, a community that lies roughly 186 miles west of Brisbane (per Melons Australia). With this region producing 25% of Australia's watermelons (per Queensland Museum), this festival seems to be a perfect marrying of product and location with it running since 1994. While its 2021 installment was cancelled due to the pandemic, Rad Season says it will roll out once again from February 16 to 19, 2023. Now that you know the where and the when, it's time to get to the really good part. What does this Aussie festival have to offer?

Queensland.com shares that some of the first things you will likely encounter include a street parade down Heeney Street and an array of vendors along a market area where you will find all-things-watermelon. If you really want to fit in with the crowd, you will want to dress for the occasion in one of many melon-themed garments ranging from onesies and tees to knitted hats and purses. And, yes, they have costumes for your canine as well.

Now that you're wearing the right attire, it's time to take part in some of the outlandish melon-centric games. And, yes, one of them involves wearing melons in place of skis — just one of many bizarre food rituals around the world.

A festival goer smashed 47 pumpkins with his head

One of the most video-taped and photographed events from this festival is watermelon skiing. Yes, brave adventurers don somewhat hollowed out melons on their feet, grab onto a rope, and try to stay standing as they "ski" along a slippery surface. While it sounds daunting, this YouTube video shows that some do actually cross the finish line. And if you fall, you simply get dragged through watermelon slush. Another uproarious great time occurs at the melon bungee. As this Aussies Destinations Unknown video shows, it involves four people each taking a corner of a giant elastic. The object is then to be able to pull your corner the furthest while trying to get a foothold in a pile of mushy fruit goop. And, in another bizarre event, a man made a Guinness World Record by smashing 47 melons with his noggin in 60 mere seconds (per Queensland Museum). 

According to Rad Season, you can also take in a melon weigh-in, beach party, rodeo, story time, chariot race, eating contest, and farm tours to name just a few of the eclectic events. Apparently, there's also free watermelon under "the big tree" (per Queensland.com), which sounds like a cryptic challenge in itself. 

If you find yourself wanting to escape the Northern hemisphere winter, a trek to Queensland, Australia in February may do the trick. And you can finally take up the only sport involving a plastic sheet, a rope, and watermelon skis.