And WHY?!

I assumed the festival was in honor of melon harvesting season....or something along those lines. It's actually so much more! It turns out there's a lot more to Howell and melons than I thought.

The Game 730 WVFN-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

I was recently catching up with a friend of mine who grew up in the Howell area. We were talking about upcoming summer plans when she mentioned the Howell Melon Festival.

Having grown up in southwest Michigan, I'm not too familiar with the Howell area and I've definitely never heard of the Melon Festival. Have you?

Famous Howell Melons

Now, you may be wondering which type of melons we're talking her: All melons? Watermelons? Honey dew? Cantaloupe? It turns out there is a certain type of cantaloupe that is specific to the area: the Howell melon.

The legend in Howell says a "hobo" passing through town gave a greenhouse owner a mysterious handful of seeds which produced the 'perfect melon'. Thus the creating the iconic Howell melon. One site describes the unique melon as,

a muskmelon variety of cantaloupe known for its giant size and sweet, juicy flesh.

Melon Ice Cream?

One of the highlights of the annual festival is the highly sought-after melon ice cream. Invented by George Spagnuolo, this special ice cream recipe is only made once a year and has a long-standing history as part of the festival.

with permission, Amanda Brown
with permission, Amanda Brown

Former Howell Area Chamber of Commerce president describes the ice cream as being so delicious that people will drive hours for it. Often festival goers will tell her, "Yeah, we'll go see the other stuff but we came for the ice cream."

Sounds like I need to get my hands on this stuff! This year the 64th annual Howell Melon Festival is taking place August 16-18, 2024, learn more here.

Ice Cream Stands Across West Michigan Are Open For 2024 Season

From South Haven to Otsego to Kalamazoo, here's when your favorite mom and pop ice cream shops are opening for the 2024 season:

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

Historic 'Florida House' Is Actually Located On The Shores of Lake Michigan

A little slice of Miami is tucked away near Michigan City, Indiana. The home was built in 1933 as part of the Chicago World's Fair's "Homes of Tomorrow" exhibit and is listed at $2.5 million.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

More From The Game 730 WVFN-AM