Cave City, Home of the World’s Sweetest Watermelons
Cave City’s watermelons aren’t touted as the sweetest in the world for no reason. One bite into one of these sweet, juicy melons makes it worth the trip. The rich, sandy soil that is exclusive to the area is what gives the melons such asweet flavor. So much so that Cave City’s watermelons are celebrated each year at the annual Cave City Watermelon Festival Celebrating its 42nd year, the 2022 Cave City Watermelon Festival officials are looking to draw thousands into Cave City for the celebration. This three-day event will be held July 28-30th and will include entertainment, fun vendors, yummy food trucks, a parade, activities for kids and adults, and of course, a free melon feast, which is courtesy of the watermelon growers in the area. In 2017, the Cave City Watermelon Festival was inducted into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame by the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Located 15 miles north of Batesville, Cave City has several retail shops in its historic downtown area. Travelers will also find antique stores and flea markets. The town is home to a growing school district that includes the Cave City Charter High School. Cave City also has multiple banks, medical offices and pharmacy, a grocery store, several convenience stores government offices and Cave City Nursing Home.
Plan your visit to Cave City and make sure to attend their Watermelon Festival in July!
Visit www.ozarkgateway.com for more area information.
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
She has two sons, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew. Corey Richardson, and is grandmother to his three sons Nathaniel. Zane and Jaxson.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird, Bullet and of course, Howard
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.