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By Charlie Johnston
Fallon and its acclaimed Hearts o’ Gold cantaloupes owe their existence to man’s manipulation of mother earth. The 1903 Newlands Project diverted water from the Carson and Truckee Rivers to turn the Lahontan Valley from desert to farming oasis. The town was incorporated in 1908, and local farmers started growing the melons in earnest in the 1920s. The Fallon Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival was born decades later in 1985.
Effectively a county fair centered upon the juicy sweet melons, the festival, August 29-September1, features a carnival; live music and entertainers; a junior rodeo; arm wrestling, dance, horseshoe, and karaoke contests; craft vendors; mud volleyball; the crowning of Miss Cantaloupe Queen; cantaloupe games and competitions such as bowling, bocce ball, chucking, and eating; and, of course, cantaloupe cuisine ranging from cantaloupe ice cream to the always popular cantaloupe daiquiri.
Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival, Fallon
August 29-September 1
Two Wheels and the Open Road
Swing and Slice
Arc Dome Adventure
King of the Crests
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