2015 Watermelon Carving Contest

It’s that time of the year. Time to sharpen your knives, break out the big cutting board, and slice up some watermelon. Every July in celebration of National Watermelon Month the National Watermelon Promotion Board uses its What About Watermelon blog to host the “National Watermelon Carving Contest.” The rules are pretty simple. All you need to do, in the month of July, is send in photos of your best watermelon carving.

And when we say “carving,” we don’t mean strictly those amazingly intricate carvings you’ve seen online. We’re talking about carved and hollowed out watermelons in the shape of cars, animals or just plain baskets and used to hold fruit salad. And we separate out the experienced pros from beginners carving watermelons for the first time.

It’s not easy judging watermelon carvings (we wish they could all win!), but our panel of judges will have that task. The judging criteria below will help guide the judges – and guide you in your carving – as they determine the first, second and third place winners in each category for both beginner and experienced entry levels. Winners are determined by the carvings with the highest overall scores. Click here to enter.

Carving Categories

Here are the five categories in this year’s contest. For creative inspiration, check out the carvings page of Watermelon.org. And yes, you can complete and enter one or more of the carvings you see on that page!

Most Elegant – Culinary professionals and highly skilled food artists can knock our socks off. Show us how the experts do it.

Best Fruit Basket Carving – A watermelon really can look like two bowls glued together at the rim. Cut it in half, hollow it out and add some flair, and you’ve got a fruit basket!

Funniest Carving – We've all seen hilarious takes on food, so show us your humor! Comical staging counts, so make us LOL!

Best Animal – People love watermelon. Animals love watermelon. People love animals. Show us your best animal made from a watermelon!

Star-Spangled Watermelon – Show us your most patriotic carving to help celebrate the summer and watermelon’s iconic connection with the Fourth of July.

Judging Criteria

CATEGORY FIT – How well does the carving fit the category and capture the overall theme of the category?

TECHNICAL SKILL – Did the carver demonstrate good knife and carving skills in the creation of the carving? Does the carving use intricate techniques or showcase a variety of carving techniques?

CREATIVITY – How creative was the carver with category interpretation? Does the entry go above and beyond? Is the carving a unique and original creation?

STAGING – What is the overall quality of the photo submitted and staging of the photo? Did the carver put thought into background, props, or other food items?

EXTRA CREDIT – Judges will award additional credit to entrants who submit more than one carving. Extra credit valid on maximum of five entries (one point per additional entry), but carvers are welcome to submit more than five.

Semi-Official Rules

  1. All carvings must be original creations, carved either by the person submitting the entry or with a little help from friends and family.
  2. All entries must be accompanied by a minimum of TWO high res photos: One photo of the finished carving (a few different photos from different angles is preferred) and one photo of the finished carving with the person submitting the entry. This part is important, so don’t forget to get both photos!
  3. All entries must be submitted online before midnight on August 4th, the day after National Watermelon Day (we’re not quite sure why it is August 3rd either).
  4. Have fun! This part is also important. It doesn’t matter what your finished carving looks like; just send the picture. It will be featured on our online gallery and may be used by the NWPB for future carving ideas!


Each category will feature a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prize. Prizes in each category include: $150 Amazon.com gift card for 1st place, $100 Amazon.com gift card for 2nd place, and $50 Amazon.com gift card for 3rd place. When all the winners have been chosen, we’ll post them here on the blog in August and let the fans choose the “People’s Choice” winner, which will receive a $500 Amazon.com gift card!

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD – All entries, every single one, submitted in the contest will be eligible for public votes to determine the People’s Choice Award winner in the beginner and experienced categories. Voting will take place in August and will be limited to one vote per person.

JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD – One carving from each of the first, second, and third place category winners will be chosen by the panel of judges as the Judges’ Choice Award winner in the beginner and experienced categories. The overall score is considered, but judges will deliberate and rely on other subjective factors to determine the winner.

Our friends at Dexas are providing the entry incentive prizes! The first 25 entrants will AUTOMATICALLY receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board as a bonus participation prize, so get your carvings in to claim your cutting board!

There you have it. Start thinking about which carving(s) you’ll make, and send in those pictures soon! For complete contest rules, check out the carving contest Web page. And, if you have any questions before the August 4 deadline, feel free to leave a comment on the blog. Good luck!

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