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July 16, 2019 - The Golden Harvest Ministries Club met Monday, July 15, 2019 in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church at 11:30am. There was a musical program presented by Charles and Judy DeLaney.

Visitors are always welcome to join the groups for a delicious covered dish luncheon, a good program and time of fellowship. Golden Harvest Ministries Club meets on the third Monday of the month.

Pictured (from left) are Reading Club members, Fannie Watson, Sue Russell, Donna Holt, new club President Dottie West, retiring club President Deborah Chadwick, Polly Smith, Billie Sue Payne, and Monte Jones.

July 16, 2019 - Members of Center Woman's Reading Club presented the book, Rose Rustlers by Greg Grant and William C. Welch, to the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library in honor of retiring club President Deborah Chadwick.

The Center Woman’s Reading Club also presented a check to Sandra Davis for use in purchasing materials for the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library. Both donations were made on July 2, 2019.

July 13, 2019 (Album1, Album2) - The 2019 East Texas What-A-Melon Festival pageant was held July 13, 2019. The two highest placing candidates in their age divisions to receive the $250 scholarship money from Wiggins Farms was Adalynn Caldwell and Mahalia Ratcliff. Special thanks to Wiggins Farms for their support of the What-A-Melon Festival pageant each year.

Emceeing the pageant was Misti Rodgers and below were the pageant results:

Mister What-A-Melon - Cort Wilson
Prince - Tennyson Weaver
Best Smile - Tennyson Weaver
Most Beautiful - Cort Wilson
Best Fashion - Tennyson Weaver

Baby Miss What-A-Melon - Charlotte Jones
Princess - Blakesley Folsom
Princess - October Smith
Best Smile - Charlotte Jones
Most Beautiful - Charlotte Jones
Best Fashion - Blakesley Folsom

Toddler Miss What-A-Melon - Kambri Elaina Moore
Princess - Raegan Wilburn
Princess - Penelope Williams
Best Smile - Raegan Wilburn
Most Beautiful - Penelope Williams
Best Fashion - Kambri Elaina Moore

Tiny Miss What-A-Melon - Adalynn Caldwell
Princess - Mattilyn Grace O'Fiel
Princess - Emilee Perez
Princess - Brylee Weir
Princess - Savanna Barton
Best Smile - Adalynn Caldwell
Most Beautiful - Emilee Perez
Best Fashion - Savanna Barton

Little Miss What-A-Melon - Pearson Todd
Best Smile - Pearson Todd
Most Beautiful - Pearson Todd
Best Fashion - Pearson Todd

Teen Miss What-A-Melon - Mahalia Ratcliff
Best Smile - Mahalia Ratcliff
Most Beautiful - Mahalia Ratcliff
Best Fashion - Mahalia Ratcliff

Platinum sponsors for the festival are Badders Law Firm, Farmers State Bank, Shelby Savings Bank, and Holiday Nursing Home.

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club. Additional sponsors who make the festival possible are (Gold Sponsors) Ihlo Sales; East Texas Poultry Supply; Kyle Coffin; Heather Chambliss, Realtor; (Silver Sponsors) General Shelters; Citizens Bank; R&D Distributing; Borders Poultry Supply; ACE Hardware of East Texas; T&R Steaks and More; Sabine State Bank; Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative; Shelby County Today; Center Glass; (Bronze Sponsors) Hometown Tackle and Marine, NAPA - Toledo Automotive Supply, and Pizzeria. Be sure to thank all the festival sponsors.

July 12, 2019 (Album1, Album2) - A rescue dog stole the hearts of the judges at the What-A-Melon Festival Pet Show with a singing performance that won him Best-in-Show. Pistol Pete, an 8 year old wire haired dachshund mixed with beagle, san with his handler, Stephanie Elswick, "It's the Best Day Ever!"

Special thanks to the judges at the Pet Show who were Misti Rodgers, Jud Chappell (Business Manager at Badders Law Firm), and David Nix (Denning Animal Rescue). Also, special thanks to the Pet Show emcee Meg Camp and to Paige Huntington (2019 Texas Watermelon Queen) and Hannah Crisp (2018 Texas Watermelon Queen).

The results from the Pet Show were as follows:

Best of Show - Pistol Pete ($50 Grand Prize)
1st Runner Up Best of Show - Zema, 7 year old Toy Poodle shown by Alyssa Bowers
Best Mannered - Doodie, 1 1/2 year old Toy Poodle shown by Zoe Horton
Calmest - Buster, 5 year old Beagle shown by John Austin
Most Unusual Pet - Merle, a turtle shown by Anna Daniels
Best Dog - Zoey, shown by Stephanie Santana
Best Dressed Dog - Zema, 7 year old Toy Poodle shown by Alyssa Bowers
Best Dressed Combo (Owner and pet) - 1st place Mollie, a 9 month old Miniature Schnauzer shown by Caitlyn Madden
Best Dressed Combo (Owner and pet) - 2nd place Dolly, an 11 year old Shi tzu shown by Allie Jane Windham
Fanciest Tail - Dolly, an 11 year old Shih tzu shown by Allie Jane Windham
Most Stubborn - Rusty, 1 year old Australian Shepherd shown by Cooper
Best Chest Plate - Bit, a 2 year old Shih tzu shown by Mallory and Brian Wright
Shortest Legs - Tinsel, a 7 month old Corgi shown by Sherry
Best Hair - Zoey, shown by Stephanie Santana
Biggest Pet - Axel, a 1 year old Australian Shepherd shown by Mallory and Brian Wright

July 11, 2019 - The 30th Annual East Texas What-A-Melon Festival opening ceremonies were held under the main tent on the Center square Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Representatives gathered under the tent to perform the ceremonial melon cutting. Weilding the blade was Center Mayor and Rotary Club member David Chadwick. Accompanying Mayor Chadwick was Paige Huntington, 2019 Texas Watermelon Queen, whose presence is made possible by the sponsorship of Wiggins Farms

Also participating in the ceremony were fellow Rotarians J.J. Ford and Ed Johnson.

Once the ceremony was completed, all present were welcome to partake in the freshly cut watermelon.

Be sure to join in the festivities on the Center square throughout the remainder of this week.

July 11, 2019 - The Bright Morning Star Baptist Church Family, is inviting everyone to their Homecoming Services on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at 3:00pm. With guest speaker Pastor Tim Teel, Bell Chapel Baptist Church of San Augustine, Texas. Revival will begin Wednesday, August 14th - Friday, August 16th. The Evangelist for the week is Pastor Bradley Hale, Mt. Horeb Baptist Church, San Augustine, Texas. Services will begin at 7:30 each evening.

Pastor Anthony Q Jackson, Senior Pastor of Bright Morning Star Baptist Church

What-A-Melon Festival Time! Opening Ceremonies at 5pm

July 11, 2019 (Schedule Flyer) - The 30th Annual What-A-Melon festival is rolling into downtown Center, Texas starting July 11th for 3 days of fun in the sun! The three days of festivities, July 11th, 12th, and 13th is looking for participants to join in and help make this the best What-A-Melon Festival ever. Platinum sponsors for the festival are Badders Law Firm, Farmers State Bank, Shelby Savings Bank, and Holiday Nursing Home.

Entry into the festival is $5 per button and admission buttons are good all three days of the festival. Children five and under get in free. Arm bands are available each night of the festival for rides and are $20. Arm band hours are Thursday 5:30pm to 10pm and Friday/Saturday 5:30pm to 10:30pm.

The What-A-Melon Festival's biggest attraction, the Largest Watermelon Contest, is Thursday evening and the winning melons will be on display for festival visitors to see and have photos made with this year's largest watermelons! The weigh-in will be July 11th at 5pm under the big tent immediately following opening ceremonies. Come see who will take home the big prize money!

The Pet Show will be held Friday, July 12th at 6pm. Sign up is at 5:30pm to enter your favorite pet. Be sure to wow the judges by adding a little watermelon style to your pet's stage presence.

Reed Barton, a singer/songwriter from Burleson, Texas will take to the stage Friday, July 12th at 8:30pm. Come out and enjoy a finger lickin' mix of classic country and classic rock music and welcome Barton to the East Texas What-A-Melon Festival!

The What-A-Melon Fun Run/5K will jumpstart Saturday's activities at 7am. Proceeds from the run will benefit the Shelby County Historical Society.

The fan favorites - Seed Spitting Contest and Speed Eating Contest is set for 3pm Saturday, July 13th under the big tent! Come out and demonstrate your watermelon seed spitting skills along with who can down their melon slice the fastest! It's the best way to beat the heat with delicious watermelon. 

The What-A-Melon Pageant is Saturday evening from 5:30pm until 7:30pm.

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club.

Proceeds raised from the What-A-Melon Festival by the Rotary Club of Center are donated back to various organizations in the community to help fight hunger, provide scholarships, support the youth, and more! Through the years the club has made pledges which have helped construct the John D. Windham Civic Center, the Center Baseball Park, and the Center Softball Park. This year the club has pledged to help with the Center Soccer Fields.


July 10, 2019 - RIO movie goers received a Christmas-in-July gift last Friday, July 5th.

Mike Adkison explained, "You know the story at Christmas about the church that gave the tickets to the kids to watch The Grinch? Well, they did it again last weekend and I wanted to let everyone know how much the families enjoyed the surprise and generosity of the church!"

The church, Old Salem Missionary Baptist, sent a message to the RIO Theatre on facebook Friday morning expressing they would like to donate some children's tickets to see Toy Story 4 since parents have a lot of extra expenses when the kids are out of school.

Mike's wife, Nita, was thrilled to be the bearer of good tidings during these hot July days as families came to the ticket booth. In all, she reported the church donated 85 tickets and made a lot of parents happy on Friday night! The Adkisons both said there were so many that were truly appreciative and expressed a desire to let the church know!

The Rio Theatre is proud to present this good news especially with all of the bad stories seen on the news everyday and wanted to shine a light on a good story! "Just to see the surprise on parents faces when they found out they didn't have to buy their children's tickets was amazing. It was like a really bright spot in their day after a busy work week! We didn't have enough tickets to last all night but it went a long way and made a lot of people happy!," express Nita.

Thank you to Old Salem Missionary Baptist Church from the Rio Family and all the families who benefitted.

The RIO Theatre will be closed during the What-A-Melon Festival and reopen July 19th.

Related article: Movie Goers Receive Early Christmas Gift Thanks to Local Church

July 10, 2019 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries will have a booth set up at the What-A-Melon Festival! We are selling raffle tickets for a 2019 Polaris Ranger 500. Tickets are $20 each or 6 for $100. The winner is responsible for tax, title, and transfer. We will draw the name of the winner on the last day of the 2019 Poultry Festival which is on October 5th. All proceeds will go to the Outreach and will be used to feed the hungry and assist the needy. Please come out and support our community. 

Entry form deadline extended to Monday, July 8th!

July 5, 2019 (Registration Form) - Don't miss out on the 2019 What-A-Melon Festival Pageant! Boys ages 0-5 and girls ages 0-19 will wear their favorite summer or watermelon attire on the stage under the big tent Saturday, July 13th during the festival on the downtown square in Center.

Wiggins Farms will be giving 2 Cash Scholarships for $250 each to the highest scores in 0-5 and 6-19 years.

Age divisions are: Baby 0-11 months; Toddler 12-23 months; Tiny 2-3 years; Little 4-5 years; Petite 6-8 years; Pre-teen 9-12 years; Teen 13-15 years; Miss 16-19 years; and Mister boys 0-5 years.

The deadline for entry is Friday, July 5. The deadline will not be extended. The pageant is Saturday, July 13th with registration at 5pm and showtime at 5:30pm. Pageant will be held under the big tent on the downtown square during the What-A-Melon Festival.

All contestants will receive a rhinestone crown. This is a natural beauty pageant, so only age appropriate makeup.

Entry forms can be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce office, Shelby County Today office, or download here. For more information, contact Denetra Slaughter at 936.590.1072 or denetra329@gmail.com or call J.J. at 936.591.9334. Forms and entry fees can be mailed to P.O. Box 64, Center, Texas 75935 or dropped off at Shelby County Today office, 202 Field Street, Center, Texas 75935.