Today is National Watermelon Day. It closely follows July’s Watermelon Month, established in 2009 by a unanimous U.S. Congressional Joint Resolution.
Today’s holiday is sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), an organization whose strategic mission is to increase consumer demand in the U.S., Canada and Mexico while working to develop trade with England and Japan.
NWPB raises funds by charging U.S. producers and handlers three cents per hundredweight of watermelons intended for human consumption. Importers pay six cents per hundredweight.
Its Board of Directors decides how best to spend those fees to secure high-value print, television and radio publicity. It is dedicated to expanding watermelon’s summertime appeal to make it an everyday, year-round choice for consumers.
Another group supporting today’s holiday is the National Watermelon Association (NWA), which welcomes all who work in the industry to join one of nine regional chapters. Its website has information on everything from creating attractive in-store displays to factoring climate change into crop planning.
Since 1964, NWA has crowned a National Watermelon Queen, who is trained to serve as a spokeswoman and ambassador, promoting sales and consumption of the fruit. The 2016 Queen was Carla Lynn Penney; as one of her duties, she appeared at the February 2017 National Watermelon Association Convention in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Fun!
This holiday has made us appreciate the watermelon as more than just that thing we buy when we’re feeling nostalgic, lug home, resent for taking up half of the fridge, never cut into because it seems like too much work and finally throw out, vowing not to buy one ever again. Maybe this time will be different!
Happy National Watermelon Day!