SWEETHEARTS: David and Janelle Taylor's first date was at the 2013 Melon Festival.
SWEETHEARTS: David and Janelle Taylor's first date was at the 2013 Melon Festival. Brooke Duncan

So sweet to be loved by you: reliving first date at festival

IT'S the juiciest love story you'll ever hear.

He was in Gatton, she was in Roma, and they met halfway right here in Chinchilla for their first date.

It was Melon Fest 2013, and David and Janelle Taylor have been to every one since. Saturday was the six-year anniversary of that first date on February 16.

Now married and living in Toowoomba, the pair took their traditional trip out last weekend to enjoy the melon mania once again.

Mr and Mrs Taylor caught up with the Chinchilla News while taking in the sights - including Chinchilla's newest attraction, the Big Melon.

Janelle said the date six years ago hadn't even been properly planned, it was "accidental".

"I was doing my first week of orientation for nursing in Roma and David was going to help someone whose farm had flooded," she said.

David had planned to help out in the Lockyer Valley but couldn't get there because of the flooded roads, and so he decided to come out to see Janelle before she went to Cunnamulla.

"So we met halfway in Chinchilla, halfway between Gatton and Roma," David said. "It just happened to be Melon Festival day and we thought we'd always wanted to go to that anyway."

And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Despite only reaching town after lunch that first year, the pair still enjoyed the markets, melon feast, watched the skiing and took a trip out to the weir.

"Then we went home late and made the lady I was staying with very worried because I didn't tell her when I was coming back," Janelle said.

This year marks their fourth festival together after getting married in September 2015.

And each year the festival - just like their romance - has gotten bigger and better.

"The first year we went, that tiny little school carpark, that was the only bit of food I think," David said.

"Now there's a whole street. There's the amount of people, and also the amount of melon merchandise has increased. Every second person is wearing a melon shirt or a melon hat. It's cool to see how big it's got."

Besides enjoying the free watermelon feast, markets and Feast Street, this year was the first time the pair tried watermelon skiing.

Attending Melon Fest has become a tradition the pair just can't break, and they're determined to share its sweetness.

"We do advertise it to all our friends as a good date option," Janelle said.


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