The Ripon Consolidated Fire District is looking for a three-peat.
In order to seal that deal, local firefighters will need another victory over the Ripon Police Department in the annual watermelon-eating contest during the Aug. 2 National Night Out at the Ripon Community Center.
For the past two years, Ryan Mackey has led the charge, devouring most of the red fruit off the watermelon rind to keep the perpetual trophy cup at the fire station house.
Sgt. Stephen Meece won it for the police about three years ago. Police Chief Ed Ormonde was another previous winner in the watermelon contest.
The Ripon Ministerial Association and the local police department are sponsoring this family-free event at the community center, 334 Fourth St.
NNO is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Everyone is invited,” Ormonde said at the conclusion of last Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting. “They’ll be plenty of fun and free activities.”
Donations have been the key to this successful end-of-the-summer event.
Pastor Dave Schutt of Calvary Reformed Church said last year that 2,000 hotdogs and buns were made possible via donations.
Some of the other churches chipped in for the free popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones.
Businesses such as Frito Lays of Modesto and the Second Harvest Food Bank also donated to the cause.
More information can be seen on Facebook @RiponNationalNightOut.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.