Craving casabas

Celebrating Utah's Green River melons

Watermelons

Kevin Maloney

No one knows what makes Green River melons so delectable: the altitude of 4,010 feet, the hot days and cool nights, or the seeds they grow from. But from late July through the first frost of fall, four local growers turn this small farm town into Utah's melon mecca, with stands appearing throughout town, including at gas stations and the coin-operated laundry.

The season peaks in September ― when the cantaloupes, watermelons, casabas, honeydews, and canary melons are at their juiciest ― and is celebrated with Melon Days.

The big day is a Saturday, when, right after the parade down Main Street, machetes come out to slice up free all-you-can-eat melon. The city park fills with booths selling everything from tacos and T-shirts to cantaloupe jelly; hang around for square dancing to live music in the evening.

INFO: Green River Melon Days (free; www.greenriver-utah.com/events or 435/564-3490) is Sep 16-17. Green River is 183 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

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