In its 52nd year the annual Watermelon Festival made its first appearance at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

More than 40,000 pounds of watermelon were provided Aug. 16-18 by Western Watermelon Association members including Van Groningen and Sons Inc., C.H. Robinson, Perry & Sons, Dulcinea Farms and Pappas Family Farms.

Attendees at the nonprofit festival ate free watermelon, listened to music and indulged in eating and seed spitting contests. The event was sponsored by the Sunland Tujunga Lions Club.

Watermelon carving demonstrations featured celebrity chef Joe Poon, according to the Orlando, Fla.-based National Watermelon Promotion Board. Local chefs and student chefs were featured in additional carving and culinary demonstrations.

Television and radio coverage before and during the festival featured interviews with Poon and the National Watermelon Association’s reigning national watermelon queen Amber Nolin, Enterprise, Ala.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest also interviewed Nolin for his “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” broadcast on KIIS-FM radio.