Dining With Denise Neil

Sledgehammer-wielding Wichitans caught on video butchering watermelons

Once a year, Wichitans take out their aggressions on innocent melons.

But it’s all for a good cause.

On Monday night, Dempsey’s Burger Pub put on its annual Watermelon Smash, where sledgehammer-wielding Wichitans gathered in the Clifton Square parking lot and paid $10 for the privilege of exploding, maiming and otherwise obliterating a watermelon situated on an old tree stump.

After the executions were complete, they moseyed inside to enjoy a glass of Wichita Brewing Company’s Watermelon Wheat beer.

Dempsey’s donated the proceeds to charity. On Monday, it raised $600 for The Lord’s Diner.

Sebastian Gordon, who manages both Dempsey’s Burger Pub and Dempsey’s Biscuit Co., said that this is the third year for the smash. Last year, the restaurant attempted a pumpkin smash, but it didn’t go as well. Pumpkins are harder to break into, he said, and their guts are way too slippery.

On Tuesday, 55 watermelons were sacrificed for the cause, Gordon said. The youngest smasher was 4.

“It’s really fun,” Gordon said. “The people that were hesitant to going up there walked away saying, ‘That was great.’

“It’s always fun to make something explode.”