Down in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where the streets are lined with pear trees, a local artist thinks he has a copyright on the idea of a giant illuminated pear made from chicken wire.
The pear has been part of Fredericksburg’s First Night celebrations for a number of years. Here’s a photo of the Fredericksburg Pear. The existing pear, which was designed by our complainant, got destroyed after the last First Night, and the city held a design competition for a new one:
For 11 years now, First NightÂ® Fredericksburg has evolved into Fredericksburgâ€™s premier New Yearâ€™s Eve Party. Over 10,000 people came out to the downtown area in 2004 to enjoy the festivities with music, dance, magic, and laughter. Each year at midnight the First NightÂ® Pear drops from the top of the ladder of the Fredericksburg Tower 1 fire truck and, with a shower of confetti, a New Year is celebrated.
During the 2005 celebration, the Pear used for the past 11 years was damaged beyond repairâ€¦ First NightÂ® Fredericksburg needs a new Pear! We are asking you, the community, to submit design proposals for the new First NightÂ® Pear. The winning artist(s) will be awarded $1,000 for design and construction of the new Pear.
The designer of the original pear objects to the whole proceeding; he thinks the city should pay him for the “rights” to the Fredericksburg Pear. The competition closed on May 2. No word (that I could find) on whether the city got submissions for a new pear.