S.C. watermelon queen peels through Barnwell

Royalty made is way through Barnwell June 18. Although not the blueblood variety, this queen makes her own impact in the United States.

Blair Boozer, the 2010 South Carolina Watermelon Queen and her chaperone, Jule Murdock, herself a former queen, stopped by F.H. Dicks, a local wholesaler, to lend her support for a harvesting season just starting in Barnwell for the Dicks family.

The state watermelon title is not just a pretty face, explained Linda Dicks.

Boozer had to win her title by not only displaying her beauty but also her knowledge about what else, watermelons.

Boozer now travels not only the state of South Carolina but all over the nation promoting South Carolina watermelons.

At the F.H. Dicks Company, Hamilton Dicks, III, a third generation businessman, is also the secretary of the South Carolina Watermelon Association. The company was started in the early 1930s.

Hamilton Dicks' two children also work in the business. Hamilton Dicks, IV and Allison Dicks Forehand each have taken their place in the family business, said Dicks.

Forehand is also the secretary for the S.C. Watermelon Association.

The association is the sponsor of the state queen, who is an integral part of the marketing of South Carolina produce throughout the southeast and the entire nation.

Boozer travels throughout the country promoting S. C. grown watermelons, speaking on radio stations and on television. She also makes appearances at the opening of new food stores.

She works very hard to see that everyone becomes aware of the nutritional value of watermelons.

"It's really a yearlong job," Dicks said of the Watermelon queen responsibilities. "She has to know a lot about the product (watermelons)."

Boozer is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in broadcast journalism, Dicks said.

"A watermelon has evolved from just a sweet thing eaten at picnics," Dicks said. "They are a healthy choice. A melon contains more lycopene than a tomato."

"A watermelon is naturally high in Vitamins A, B6, and C, is a great source of potassium, and is very low in sodium. Containing virtually no fat, watermelon is a great snack for both children and adults. A two-cup serving contains 80 calories with 0 calories coming from fat. In fact, watermelon is certified as a heart healthy food by the American Heart Association as it meets the guidelines for saturated fat and cholesterol content for healthy people over the age of two," from the S.C. Watermelon Association data.
"As you can see, our S.C. Watermelon Queen is definitely a pretty girl," Dicks said.
"And with a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina, Blair is very well equipped to be the spokesperson for our locally grown product - the S. C. watermelon," Dicks said.
"So, on these hot summer days, recall Blair Boozer, the S.C. Watermelon Queen, who tells us to ‘ Buy those red, sweet, delicious, and healthy locally grown watermelons and enjoy with family and friends,'" Dicks said.