Enjoy this "Slice of Life" festival celebrating the sweet summer fruit that made Ridgeway, N.C. famous! Attended each summer by thousands, the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival is a daylong event full of fun for all ages, live music, food, games, vendors and more.

Presented by the Ridgeway Historical Society, Inc. and the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department.

Did You Know?

Just how did a summer melon put a small Warren County community on the map?

More than 100 years ago, Ed Petar grew several acres of the melons and discovered that there was something special about cantaloupes grown in the Ridgeway soil. As other farmers in the community joined Petar in growing cantaloupes, the demand for the Ridgeway melons spread to northern markets. The fruits were served in some of the finest restaurants, including the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

About 1932, when some 13,000 crates of cantaloupes were shipped from Ridgeway, the community formed the Cantaloupe Growers Association, and the Pride of Ridgeway label was recognized everywhere.

The Ridgeway harvest was at its peak from 1946 to 1956 with some 30,000 crates of cantaloupes shipped from the community in 1956. When the growing season was at its busiest, cantaloupes were being shipping 24 hours per day by train and truck.

A blight in the late 1950s hurt cantaloupe farming in Ridgeway, but that did not stop the cultivation of the community's famous crop. In more recent years, a small number of farmers continue to grow the summer melon, maintaining a heritage that began over a century ago.

 

 

 

Schedules

  • Starting Saturday, July 21st, 2012, repeated every year on the 3rd Saturday of July @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Venue

Behind the Cantaloupe Shed

668 U.S. Hwy. 1 South
Ridgeway,