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Grand Marshal named for renewed Howell Melon Festival Parade

One of Howell’s original melon farmers will be honored during the 62nd Melon Festival 62nd Melon Festival in August.

Gerald Knight was named Tuesday as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Howell Melon Festival Parade. Gerald’s father, Stanley Knight, began growing the melons on his farm in the 1920s.

“The Melon Festival Committee is honored to present Gerald Knight as the Grand Marshal for this year’s Melon Parade. The 62nd Melon Festival is going back to its roots and there is no better way to do that than by honoring one of the original Melon Farmers,” said Jordan Jones, Recreation Manager of Special Events for the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority (HAPRA).  

“The Howell Melon Festival is a wonderful tradition celebrating our agricultural community. It is only fitting that one of the original melon farmers serve as our Grand Marshal for this year’s parade. We sincerely thank Mr. Knight and his family, as well as the agricultural community, for all they have contributed and continue to contribute,” said Ervin Suida, Howell City Manager.

The Howell Melon Festival was founded in 1960 by Dr. Louis (Pat) May, a local physician and melon grower.

Last year’s festival had to be scaled back after a controversy erupted over a scheduled Drag Queen Bingo fundraiser. City officials and organizers then doubled down on efforts to return the event to its traditional roots, including bringing back the popular Melon Festival Parade.

The Howell Melon Festival is set to run August 10-14.

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