(VINCENNES) - America's favorite touring comedian, Gallagher, is kicking off his "Last Smash" tour on New Year's Eve at the sixth annual Watermelon Drop in Vincennes.
Sponsored by First Vincennes Savings Bank, Gallagher will perform at a 5 p.m. (EST) show at Vincennes Lincoln High School's Ader Auditorium.
According to his website, Gallagher's Last Smash tour "will be his way of saying 'thank you' to his massive audience who has stood by and supported him throughout his career. From the early days of the Comedy Store and the Tonight Show, through all 14 Showtime specials, and his 3,000+ shows -- you've been with him."
Tickets for the Gallagher show range in price from $15 to $75 and may be reserved by calling 800-595-4TIX (4849) or at: nationalwatermelondrop.tix.com
"As chair of the sixth annual National New Year's Eve Watermelon Drop, I am proud of our National Watermelon Drop Committee and the entire community for their amazing work and support. We focus on providing a fun, safe and exciting New Year's event for everyone in our region. Each year our goal is to honor our famous Knox County watermelons and add new elements to the Watermelon Drop. Next year it will be tough to top what we've planned this year -- especially the addition of the Gallagher show," said Shanon O'Toole.
The Watermelon Drop has been featured on the CBS Sunday Morning Show and featured on Country Living's "7 Wacky Ways to Ring in the New Year." The 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" -- a list that also included North Carolina's Possum Drop, Pennsylvania's Bologna Drop, and Alabama's MoonPie Drop.
CNN is sending reporter Gary Tuchman to cover this year's Watermelon Drop that will include live break-a-ways to Vincennes from live coverage from Times Square in New York City. Last year, CNN's New Year's Eve coverage attracted 2.3 million views.
"The reason for the early time of the show is so people can enjoy it and still celebrate New Year's Eve in their preferred way. Of course, in our part of the country, that means attending the sixth annual Watermelon Drop at Vincennes' Riverfront Pavilion. Where else can you watch a 500-pound watermelon rise high in the sky as midnight approaches, culminating in 14 Knox County watermelons dropped on our splatform at the stroke of midnight -- including fireworks? There really is no better way to ring in the New Year," said Rick Linnenburg, one of the founding members of the National Watermelon Drop Committee.
In addition to a Gallagher Look-Alike Contest, this year's Watermelon Drop will feature watermelon carving demonstrations by world-famous Chef Joe Poon, sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Chef Joe is known for lots of skills but his high-speed carving of watermelons is amazing (http://www.josephpoon.com/recipes-from-chinatown-chef-joseph-poon/playing-with-food/).
Other Watermelon Drop activities include an appearance by Illiana Watermelon Queen Briston Anderson, music, vendors, beer garden, and some other surprises that will be announced later. Music will begin at 9 p.m.
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 throughout the evening.
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