FRENCH LICK, Ind (WTWO-WAWV) — Over seven thousand acres of watermelons are produced in the Wabash Valley and about 70 percent of those melons are grown in Knox County. That’s according to Illiana Watermelon Association.

This past weekend the I.W.A. held its annual convention in French Lick. One of the highlights of the event was the crowning of the 2023 Illiana Watermelon Association Queen.

Four young women went through a process that included interviews, public speaking and public interaction. Those competing were Abby Niehaus of Bruceville, Lillee Cardinal of Bruceville, Maya Snider of Terre Haute and Julianne Bell of Loogootee.

Abby Niehaus was selected as the winner and for the next year she will travel around the country as a promotional ambassador for I.W.A.