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Royal treat

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Avianna Liuzzo succeeds Catherine Bowman as Chiefland Watermelon Queen

By Sean Arnold

The Annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival functions as an unofficial kickoff to summer for the City of Chiefland.

In it’s 64th edition, on June 2, the atmosphere and weather certainly added to the summer vibes.

The Watermelon staples were all in place: a head-spinning number of vendors, a seed-spitting contest, a parade, music, a watermelon auction, and, finally, the crowning of the 2018 Chiefland Watermelon Queen.

That title went to Avianna Liuzzo, who succeeds 2017 Queen Catherine Bowman.

The Queen contestants, which included Laken Carter, Sheila Engel and Devan Hodge, were joined by National Watermelon Queen Savannah Christensen, Florida Watermelon Queen Camri Campbell, and Alabama Watermelon Queen Sarah Jane Levine.

Young Hayden Henderson was the big seller in the watermelon auction. Henderson won for biggest group of three melons, at 132 pounds, and tied with Bailey Parrish for biggest single melon – 51 pounds. Jack Prentice, Jr. and Terrence Reed received plaques for winning the purchase auction on Henderson’s batch.

Jamey King provided the musical entertainment.

The Chiefland Watermelon Festival is sponsored by the Chiefland Woman’s Club. It was held this year for the first time in the park across the street from the Train Depot, where the bustling crowds easily filled the added space.

The divisional Queens included: Rebekah Prevatt (Baby); Kay Jerrells (Teeny); Allee Rize (Tiny); Kellan Gaitlin (Little Prince); Curtis Ballenger (Little King); Mya Bryant (Toddler); Braelyn Perkins (Little); Jessica Townsend (Petite); Lily MacArthur (Princess); Alayna HuniAslan (Junior) and Teen Queen Ashtyn Brown.