May has finally arrived and that means plenty of things in Texas – watermelon eating, music festivals, hot weather, pool parties, drinking (responsibly, of course) and barbeques! As the Watermelon Festival draws near, we’re bringing you a handy little hack guide to be the best-prepared Watermelon Festival goer you can be! Take notes!
And also, we’ll be offering some information for those of you who own small businesses or wish to do some vending at this great event!
Tips for Entrepreneurs
If you’re in the business of selling food, then the Watermelon Festival is the perfect place to gain a larger customer base. According to Alamo Parks and Recreation Assistant Steven Vela, businesses around the area have been showing a huge interest in the event.
“Since this event has been growing tremendously from year-to-year, local and out-of-city businesses have been showing great interest in this event,” Vela said. “It stems from the diverse attractions we have at the event.”
Before arriving, remember, as with any festival, there are specific requirements for food vendors. Following these basic guidelines will ensure that you’re set and ready to bring brand awareness to your food business!
- You’ll need a vendor license and/or food handler’s permit to sell and serve food at the festival. Food handler’s permits given out for the Watermelon Festival are good for two weeks. For any questions about food vending, please call the City of Alamo Parks and Recreation Department at 965.787.6699.
- Remember who your target market is. What are their needs? What do they like? The easier you make things, the quicker they’ll remember your brand when they’re hungry.
- You won’t be the only one serving and competing for their attention. Make the most of the small timeframe they spend at your booth.
- At festivals, there is usually limited space. Remember to bring items that are quick and easy to make. Plates and cups that are easy to carry around while exploring the festival are a must.
- Activate on social media! Social media is one of the primary forms of advertising and communication in today’s marketing landscape. Be sure to use some of the Watermelon Festival hashtags (#WMF, #WatermelonFestival, #CurtisGrimes, #DLGSR and #RGVEvents) while at the festival to draw attention to your business.
Big Crowds Await in Alamo
In its 4th year, the Watermelon Festival is everything fun and anything but simple. People from all over the Valley will be making an impromptu visit to Alamo to see the likes of musical acts such as David Lee Garza and Curtis Grimes. According to Vela, a bigger crowd is expected this year.
“From years 2 to 3, we almost doubled in size from about 2,500 people to about 5,000 on the day of the event,” Vela said. “This year, we are anticipating at least an additional 2-3 thousand people.”
Valley residents will also be lining up for the watermelon and barbeque contests. Long story short, there will be a lot of people. And if you don’t show up prepared, big crowds can be stressful, nerve-wracking and exhausting. We’ve compiled a list of things to keep in mind before you spit watermelon seeds or start jamming out to the musical acts.
What to Wear
First thing’s first, while sandals and flip-flops may seem like the most practical choice, remember that you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing. Flip-flops are actually quite bad for your feet in general. Try to wear something comfortable that you won’t mind walking long distances and standing long periods of time in.
Temperatures in the Rio Grande Valley can get as high as 98 degrees! We recommend wearing an SPF lotion to the festival to protect your skin. While you might not feel the effects of the blistering heat at that exact moment, on the following day, your sunburn will become apparent. Sunscreen lotion can help not only in preventing painful sunburn, but skin cancer as well. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should be wearing lotion with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Bring a Phone and Charger
Smartphones today have become an extension of our lives. Imagine waiting for your favorite band to start playing so you can record some memorable videos only to find out your battery is low. A quick smartphone charge cannot only bring your phone back to life, but can also get you out of an emergency should one come up.
Sling and cross-body bags are quite handy during a festival. They have enough room to store your belongings in and any collectibles you may have purchased. They’re also safer than fanny packs, for example, which are child’s play for pickpockets.
First Aid Kit
We’re not talking about an elaborate stash of ointments and medicines. Instead, consider maybe some gauze and bandages. Just in case you cut yourself, you’ll be all set with a first aid kit. It would be a real disappointment if you had to make a trip to a clinic to treat a cut right before your favorite band starts playing. According to the Mayo Clinic, having a few basic first aid kit supplies handy could make a difference in case of a medical emergency.
Helping the Community and Local Businesses
The Watermelon Festival is just one of many events the City of Alamo puts together for the community. It’s part of our commitment to foster an environment where large and small businesses can grow with our rich and culturally diverse community. If your business is looking to expand to Alamo, give the Alamo EDC a call at 956.787.6622. We have several initiatives designed specifically for doing business in our great city!