Hermiston, Portland to Renew Cross-State Rivalry on Friday

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Watermelon Giveaway
A scene from last year's event in Portland where Hermiston officials gave out produce to Portland residents. (Photo: City of Hermiston)

The grand title of “Watermelon Seed Whisperer” is on the line as officials from the city of Portland and city of Hermiston square off to see who can spit a watermelon seed the farthest.

The competition will finish up with the groups giving away a truckload of Hermiston’s world famous watermelons. The Seed spitting contest will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.

In the 1980s, former Hermiston Mayor Frank Harkenrider challenged then-Portland Mayor Bud Clark to a watermelon seed spitting contest, and that started an annual event which lasted until 2007. The Hermiston delegation also brought over a truckload of watermelons and other produce to share with Portlanders during those events. This event started again in 2015 with its traditional seed spitting contest and produce giveaway.

“This is a great event that continues to build on our relationship with our partners in Portland,” said Hermiston Mayor Dave Drotzmann.

This year’s event, sponsored by the city of Hermiston, the city of Portland, and the Greater Hermiston Area Chamber of Commerce, received many generous contributions to make it successful. Hermiston-area growers who donated produce for the event include: Bellinger Farms, Walchli Farms, and others who would like to remain anonymous.

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