Cantaloupe Fest: new weekend, new fare

Sweet and spicy cantaloupe sauce chicken wings are a savory menu item on the new Cantaloupe Corral at this year's event.

Sweet and spicy cantaloupe sauce chicken wings are a savory menu item on the new Cantaloupe Corral at this year's event.

The Fallon Cantaloupe Festival & Country Fair being held Aug. 24-27 this year brings with its new summer weekend other surprises — especially for taste buds.

A community tradition since 1985, the festival is going to feature a new addition: the Cantaloupe Corral, where everything on the menu is made with Fallon Hearts of Gold cantaloupe.

As local farmers explain, the high desert is one of the biggest reasons why cantaloupes here are so special. With hot days and cool nights in a high-elevation desert, melons receive the warmth they need by day but the cooler temperatures at night foster higher sugar content. Plus the local varieties with short shelf lives but a sweet taste add to the sugary spread.

On the menu at the Cantaloupe Corral will be cantaloupe ice cream and fruit cups as well as fire-glazed and -grilled melon. Salads range from cantaloupe with balsamic-roasted sweet potatoes to other options with Thai and Tuscan influences. Also the variety of savory offerings include sticky and spicy cantaloupe chicken wings, bourbon cantaloupe pulled pork sliders, sage prosciutto grilled cantaloupe, gorgonzola rosemary fruit bruschetta and sweet onion and cantaloupe soup shooters.

The LVN was invited to a tasting of the Cherry Bomb Catering creations and every item being sampled was a treat.

Other attractions this year involve “A Tribute to Country,” a two-night concert series Friday and Saturday nights. And this year all stage entertainment is included with festival admission. There will be a juggling comedian, local band Serenity Awaits as well as The Garth Guy, Shades of Shania and more tributes to Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Jason Aldean.

The Shoeppner Shows Carnival is returning. Organizers said the community asked and the festival committee was able to make it happen. The carnival will provide 14 rides and midway games, and pre-sale tickets will be available this month for savings.

Dedicated to its mission, the festival also continues to provide an opportunity for all ages to learn about agriculture in Nevada. Participating organizations include the Churchill County Farm Bureau, Nevada Department of Agriculture, the High Desert Jr. Grange, Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, FFA, 4H and the Churchill County Museum.

The festival will also boast The Old Dry Gulch Saloon, Splash Dogs, and a 5K Fun Run in addition to fair exhibits and food and shopping vendors.

Keep this year’s contests in mind, from a growing competition and Kent’s Cornhole Classic to the Cantaloupe Festival Queen and King or Cutest Little Cowgirl and Cowboy.

Visit or Facebook for more event information including admission, hours, tourism tips as well as vendor and volunteer details. The 2017 premium book regarding fair entries is available online as well.

Be sure to save the dates for the longest-running agricultural festival in the state.


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