HOWELL, Mich. (WLNS) – Thousands came to Downtown Howell this weekend for the Melon Fest. The festival was canceled last year due to the pandemic. This year’s festival wrapped up on Sunday with a farmers market with plenty of people, food, drinks and fun. Despite some controversy over the event in the past few weeks, people said they’re happy they got to enjoy the festivities.
Pam Torbico, a festival attendee from Arizona visiting family enjoyed the smaller festival. “It’s very quality what’s here and I enjoyed it. Yeah, I think it went well,” said Torbico.
Before this weekend’s festivities, a planned “Drag Queen Bingo” created some division in the city. The Howell City Council voted to revote the event’s application for the festival. The beer tent would have to close by 4 o’clock or the whole event would be shut down. The council cited public safety concerns. Ultimately, both events were cancelled for the festival. Some guests were disappointed in the last minute change.
“I was disappointed that drag queen bingo was cancelled,” said festival attendee, Wayne Deblock. “Just walking around and talking to people, they really missed it,” he said.
This year’s event was smaller in comparison to 2019’s festival but there were still vendors, activities and of course, the famous melon ice cream.
“The melon ice cream is a tradition of Howell and of the melon festival” explained Paddy Griffith with the Rotary Club of Howell. “It’s made by by Guernsey dairy in Northville and they only make it for us and they only make it this time of year” she said making the ice cream a special and rare treat.