Halifax County, VA - The annual Virginia Cantaloupe Festival is one of Halifax County's signature events, but this year, attendees can expect some big changes.
The festival, which is usually held during the peak of cantaloupe season in July, is being bumped up to June.
This year the festival has a new date, new time and new venue.
Some folks are concerned about the lack of locally grown cantaloupes available in June, but event organizers say they have it all figured out.
A cantaloupe festival without local cantaloupes seems strange, but the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce says the date change is for the best.
"The past couple years we've had high heat indexes and heat warnings. We decided that if we were to tweak this a little earlier in the year, we could have hopefully some better weather, " said festival co-chair Nick Long.
The Chamber says they've already seen an increase in advance ticket sales from folks who had previously passed on the event because of the weather.
Even though the local cantaloupes from Hudson Farm and Reese's Farm will not be ready this year, they have a solution that will hopefully work for everyone.
"What we have decided to do is come up with a voucher system. The attendee will get a voucher and when the cantaloupes start to come in, they will be allowed to take that to one of these two farms and get a free cantaloupe, " said co-chair Kathy Farley.
Out of town visitors won't be left out.
Vouchers can be mailed in and a cantaloupe will be shipped to the attendee.
The chamber says sponsorship has increased and feedback has been positive, especially following the announcement of the festival's new location.
"We moved it to Berry Hill, a facility with a little different ambiance, " Long said.
Issuing vouchers and shipping the fruit will create more work outside of the usual responsibility of securing vendors and entertainment.
But Farley says it will be worth it.
"A lot of work? That's okay, we'll take that if that's what it takes to make everyone happy, " said Farley.
The 33rd annual festival will be held Friday, June 7th from 5 to 10 pm.
Tickets are $35.
Go to www.valopefest.com for more information.