The World’s Largest Watermelon will complete its journey to the Muscatine riverfront Wednesday, Sept. 20, traveling from Silver Hawk Fabrication in Muscatine to Riverside Park courtesy of the Canadian Pacific-Kansas City (CPKC) Railroad.
CPKC will be pulling the flatcar holding the 40-foot-long, 16-foot-tall (26-feet when tilted),16,000-pound sculpture from Silver Hawk Fabrication (formerly Hoffman, Inc.) and arrive at the location of the foundation near Millennium Plaza at approximately 9 a.m., according to a city release Monday. Residents along the route in the south end of Muscatine will have a great first look at the sculpture as CPKC pulls the fruity sculpture through Muscatine.
Bob’s Crane Service & Equipment Rental will lift the melon from the flatcar to its permanent foundation. The area around the foundation will be cordoned off and the trail on the street side of Riverside Park will be closed. Those wanting to watch the installation can take advantage of one of several vantage points along Mississippi Drive or use the riverside portion of the Running River Trail System to walk down from the Riverside Park parking lot to the site.
Mayor Brad Bark noted that the foundation for the sculpture was a collaborative effort with Premier Yard Restoration, Hahn Ready Mix, Heuer Construction, Inc., Hoffmann Inc Fabrication, and the city of Muscatine.
“I would also like to thank Kent Feeds, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Muscatine Power and Water, Ryan Streck, Jason Schillig, Musco Lighting, SSAB, Jack Michaels, Parks and Rec Advisory Commission, City Council, Public Art Commission and HNI Corporation,” Mayor Bark said in Monday’s release.
Thanks to financial and in-kind donations from about 15 entities, the entire project has been paid for without using any taxpayer funds from the city.
Muscatine is known for producing real watermelons. The soil south of the city “is just right for producing tasty watermelons and delicious cantaloupes in addition to other farm fresh produce,” according to Visit Muscatine. “Muscatine’s melon growers claim the combination of long, warm days and light, sandy well-drained soil is the secret to their success.”