I remember driving with my family from Florence to the Charlotte, N.C., area to visit relatives when I was a little girl. The trip always took us through the tiny town of Pageland - watermelon capital of the world. I loved watermelon and my name was Page, so it only made sense that I would one day be the queen of Pageland.
Well, my royal aspirations fell short much to the delight, I am sure, of the nearly 3,000 would-be subjects in my 4-square-mile kingdom.
The festival began in 1951 to promote the area's primary crop. Then, as now, the watermelon-eating and seed-spitting competitions were main events along with the usual festival fare of a parade, beauty pageant and street dance.
Over the years, events have been added including a rodeo and a car show on Saturday.
How my favorite S.C. town got its name: The town was founded in 1908 and named for Adolphus High Page, who brought the Chesterfield and Lancaster Railroad to this part of Chesterfield County.
If You're Going
If you want to make a weekend of it, Pageland has two motels:
The Guest Lodge, 910 W. McGregor St., (843) 672-6117, offers AAA and AARP discounts
Villager Motel 703 N. Pearl St., (843) 672-7225, offers AARP discounts and is right in the middle of the celebration.