It is breaking with a long-standing tradition, but it looks like it’s something Firebaugh residents are embracing.

This year’s annual Firebaugh Cantaloupe Round-up will start its four-day Thursday-through-Sunday festival Sept. 29 instead of its usual time in August.

The annual event, started to celebrate the community’s cantaloupe industry, traditionally was held the first weekend in August in the middle of the cantaloupe harvesting season.  But according to Mayor Brady Jenkins, that changed because of Covid.

“During Covid, we were one of the last cities to open up,” Jenkins explained.  “When we did open, our carnival provider was already booked so we had to find another date.”

This weekend was one of the few dates open, so the city went with it.  Jenkins said that just about everyone was happy with the change.

The reason is obvious—the very hot summer weather in August.

“All week, people have been complimenting the change because they want the cooler weather,” Jenkins said. “The booth sponsors and local businesses are elated with the change and are ready to go.”

Opening ceremonies and the flag raising by the Westside Veterans of Foreign Wars will take place Thursday afternoon.

Besides the food booths and carnival, there will be live music every night, leading off with The Carlos Montano Band.  The Jac Row Band and Hard Times will perform on Friday.

Saturday’s feature entertainment will be Bruno Mars tribute band Bruno and the Hooligans.  Niteflite will precede them.

Sunday’s final day of entertainment will feature Mariachi Alas de Plata and Los Ases de la Banda.

All the events will take place at Firebaugh City Park and Dunkle Park.

David Borboa