Democratic Club Sweetens Up July 4th with Watermelon Social

Vicki Baker

On July 4, 1776, a homesick Thomas Jefferson was sweltering in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall as he added the finishing touches and flourishes to that historic document, the Declaration of Independence. Longing for his beloved Monticello where the watermelons were ripening on the vine, Jefferson didn’t get home for a slice of the juicy fruit on that first Fourth of July.

Today, thanks to our early patriots, we proudly celebrate our country’s independence with parades, fireworks, and outdoor gatherings. Dressed in our red, white, and blue patriotic attire, the Democratic Club waved American flags and marched in Robson Ranch’s annual Independence Day Parade.

After completing the one-mile parade route in the sizzling Texas heat, we were ready to cool things off with a cold, thirst-quenching summer treat at the Democratic Club’s Watermelon Social. Because, of course, no July 4th celebration is complete without indulging in juicy watermelon, which refreshes you from the inside out.

What fun was had at the parade, but afterwards, nothing was more satisfying than ice-cold slices of watermelon, letting the juices slide down our chins, offering its hydrating relief from summer’s unrelenting heat. It made for one sweet Independence Day celebration.

Watermelons are definitely a part of our American culture and heritage. But, actually, the watermelon is a native plant of Northeastern Africa, and watermelon seeds over 1,000 years old have been found in Egyptian tombs. From Africa, this popular fruit made its way to Europe and eventually to North America. The early colonists grew watermelons and, yes, Thomas Jefferson, an inveterate and enthusiastic gardener, did grow watermelons in his garden at Monticello. So, is it fair to say watermelon is as American as apple pie?

If you didn’t get a chance to make your 4th a watermelon one, no worries. Summer’s in full swing. It’s hot and muggy and time for a big, juicy slice of red-ripened watermelon. Take up the challenge to see how many different ways you can enjoy this luscious fruit. Try watermelon daiquiris, watermelon coolers, watermelon candy, and even watermelon gum!