The Jackson County Watermelon Festival is a 3 day community festival celebrating the harvest of Jackson County Watermelons. The 48 year old festival is held the first full weekend of September in downtown Brownstown Indiana, where you can bring your family for fun, free watermelon slices, activities, watermelon steal, watermelon crawl, free, live entertainment all weekend long, and much more. There are food vendors, craft vendors, consultant booths, as well as information booths, something for everyone. Please see our events page for a complete listing of this year’s events. Don’t forget to visit our Special Events page for upcoming fundraisers, pageants, and contests.
Brownstown was founded April 8, 1816, notably prior to the statehood of Indiana itself and was named after Jacob Brown, a General of the War of 1812. Brownstown became the county seat of Jackson County in November 1816, replacing Fort Vallonia, which had only been the county seat since June of that year.
During the War of 1812, several encounters between Native Americans and the United States Army took place in what would become Jackson County. The county originally housed its government operations in a log structure, built in 1816 and subsequent buildings until 1870. The land for the Jackson County Court House, which rests in the heart of Brownstown on the square, was donated by Col. John Ketcham (1782–1865) for this specific function.
The Jackson County Watermelon Festival began in 1967, and it’s committee is a group of volunteers from Jackson County who come together with the purpose of making a fun filled 3 day festival to celebrate our community and the harvest of the Jackson County watermelons with entertainment and fun for everyone.