News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 23, 2009

Watermelon Drop coming to Vincennes on Thursday

Vincennes — One of the nation’s most unusual spectacles in New Year’s Eve celebrations — the Watermelon Drop — is coming to Vincennes on Thursday.

Building on last year’s successful premiere, the Vincennes skyline will see an 18-foot, 500-pound watermelon rise in the air as a large crowd counts down to midnight. At the stroke of midnight, 2010 will begin when 10 Knox County-grown watermelons fall 100 feet, producing a colorful splat, while fireworks simultaneously usher in the New Year.

“As one of the nation’s best watermelon-growing regions, there is no better way to usher in the New Year than with a Watermelon Drop,” said John Frenz, chair of the event’s organizing committee. “Last year’s successful event proved people are hungry for watermelon — even on New Year’s Eve.”

Since last year’s Watermelon Drop, the 18-foot watermelon has become a star attraction in Vincennes, with people applauding its procession in the town’s July Fourth and Christmas parades. Prior to being elevated high in the sky on New Year’s Eve last year, many people stopped by earlier in the evening to have their photos taken with the giant watermelon. Soon its image was prominently featured in many YouTube videos.

This year’s Watermelon Drop site is being moved one block to Vincennes’ new Riverfront Pavilion at First and Busseron streets.

“The new site will allow activities to take place under one roof with adjacent restroom facilities and electrical power access for some heaters to be added,” Frenz said.

Beginning at 9 p.m., revelers at the Riverfront Pavilion will enjoy a beer and wine garden, music, noisemakers, and a visit by Illiana Watermelon Queen Johnna Thompson. An assortment of Watermelon Drop clothing and novelty items will be for sale with proceeds supporting the event.

The event will be broadcast live on and locally on Avenue Broadband Channel 24.