The melon drops when the clock strikes midnight - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

The melon drops when the clock strikes midnight

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VINCENNES, IN (WFIE) -

One of the nation's "top ten quirkiest New Year's Eve celebrations," the 5th Annual Watermelon Drop, returns to Vincennes' Riverfront Pavilion on Dec. 31. 

A large crowd is expected to cheer and raise a toast as an 18-foot, 500-pound watermelon rises high in the sky during the New Year's countdown. At the stroke of midnight, 13 Knox County watermelons will drop to a "splatform" as fireworks light the sky.

"There is no better way to usher in the New Year than with splatting watermelons and fireworks," said Shanon O'Toole, chair of the National Watermelon Drop Committee that organizes the celebration.   

The Watermelon Drop has been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and editors of the world's largest travel site, TripAdvisor, Inc., listed the event among its 2011 "Top Ten Quirkiest New Year's Eve Celebrations in America." The list also included North Carolina's Possum Drop, Pennsylvania's Bologna Drop, and Alabama's MoonPie Drop. 

Since its creation in 2008, the 18-foot watermelon has become a star attraction in Vincennes, with people applauding its procession in the town's July 4th and Christmas parades. People also enjoy sharing photographs and YouTube videos of themselves standing next to the 18-foot-long watermelon.

The Watermelon Drop site is adjacent to Vincennes' Riverfront Pavilion located at the corner of First and Busseron streets.

"The site allows activities to take place under one roof with restroom facilities, electrical power, and propane heaters. The site is also near several commercial businesses and fraternal organizations that sponsor New Year's events, making downtown Vincennes the place to be on New Year's Eve," O'Toole said.

Beginning at 9 p.m., revelers at the Riverfront Pavilion will enjoy food, drink, music,

games, noisemakers and of course, fun. There will also be a DJ and Karaoke. An assortment of Watermelon Drop clothing and novelty items will also be for sale.

"Last year's Watermelon Drop was big and this year's event should be even bigger as word of the celebration continues to spread. In fact, at the rate this event is growing, it's only a matter of time before the networks add Vincennes to its televised coverage of worldwide New Year's extraordinary extravaganzas. There are few spectacles like this one," O'Toole said.

Indiana's first city, founded in 1732, Vincennes is the county seat of Knox County, well-known for its multi-million dollar melon crops that are shipped throughout the nation.

The Watermelon Drop will be broadcast live. Click here to watch.

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