The sounds of "Joy to the World" will be flowing through the streets of downtown Mobile on New Year's Eve. But don't get your holiday songs confused. Legendary music group Three Dog Night will be headlining the free Mobile celebration leading to the MoonPie Drop at midnight.
In addition to listening to the top hits of Three Dog Night and opening acts, revelers will enjoy a Mardi Gras-style parade, a laser light show and spectacular fireworks. Whether you prefer RC Cola or a glass of champagne, ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile.
This year's free celebration will be located on the corner of Government Boulevard and Royal Street. The new stage location will allow for larger crowds, better protection from the weather and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. A new VIP area on the fourth floor of the Renaissance Riverview Plaza will enable sponsors to get a bird's eye view of the entertainment and the falling cookie. The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA BankTrust skyrise as the city welcomes 2012 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.
This year's MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start with a Mardi Gras-style parade featuring floats, bands and a few surprises. The parade will travel a different route this year, because of the stage relocation to Government and Royal Street. Afterwards, a street party of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. Despite their song title, "Momma Told Me Not to Come," everyone is invited to enjoy Three Dog Night and join in the festivities. Downtown Mobile will be one giant street party that will last into the early hours of the New Year.
"Downtown Mobile is going to be the place to be this New Year's Eve," said Mayor Sam Jones. "Last year we had more than 40,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year," said Jones. "We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Bronner and Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) help with this celebration." First started in 2008, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year's Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor. "It is time to "Celebrate," just like the Three Dog Night song."
"Mobile's New Year's Eve Celebration featuring the MoonPie Over Mobile has become a cultural phenomenon in the entire USA.," said Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson. "Every year, more and more people are getting involved, and thousands more revelers come out to enjoy the festivities. I look forward to this New Year's Eve being the best that has ever been in our city." Richardson is credited for creating the MoonPie Over Mobile concept.
"All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year's Eve," said Kent Blackinton, general manager of Renaissance Riverview Plaza and president of the Mobile Hotel Association. "We are going to make a great party even better this year, and we are looking to fill the streets of Mobile and the hotel rooms in the city. Television views throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 45-minute telecast on Raycom stations, but we would rather have you being part of the excitement."
Why a MoonPie?
Mobile is the home of America's first Mardi Gras celebration, and the MoonPie is the favored "throw" of the hundreds of Mardi Gras maskers riding the floats during the extensive Mardi Gras parade season. MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952. Today, Mobile consumes more than four million MoonPies annually, and has adopted the delicious treat as an informal emblem. For the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration, this southern city has teamed up with Chattanooga Bakery, the maker of the iconic MoonPie marshmallow sandwich, to create the largest electronic MoonPie as the featured attraction for its New Year's Eve celebration. This is the third year an electronic version of the delicious treat will light up downtown Mobile.
Mardi Gras was first discovered in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Mobile currently has more than 50 parading and non-parading organizations. An estimated 850,000 people attend parades, parties and other organizations associated with the carnival festivities. This number will likely increase with the enhanced MoonPie Over Mobile celebration.
About Three Dog Night
Legendary music icons, Three Dog Night, celebrate their 4th decade, performing to sell-out crowds and bringing along some of the most astonishing chart statistics in popular music including 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10's, and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs.
Perfectly re-creating their larger than life songs, Three Dog Night will perform their hits including "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)", "Joy to The World", "Black and White", "Shambala", "One", "Liar", "Celebrate" and many more songs that drive their success. Three Dog Night, which is made up of founding members Cory Wells and Danny Hutton on lead vocals, original band mates Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards) and Michael Allsup (guitar) and completed by Paul Kingery (bass and vocals) and Pat Bautz (drums), now perform for audiences spanning several generations.
After nearly 40 years together, Three Dog Night continues to grow its fan base and develop new ways of doing business. Since 1986, they have performed over 2,000 shows including two Super Bowls.
Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?
Raycom Media will be doing a live 45-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations:
WAFF - Huntsville, AL;
WBRC - Birmingham, AL;
WSFA - Montgomery, AL;
WDFX - Dothan, AL;
WTVM - Columbus, GA;
WPGX - Panama City, FL;
WLOX - Biloxi, MS;
WDAM - Hattiesburg, MS;
WLBT - Jackson, MS;
KAIT - Jonesboro, AR;
KTRE - Lufkin, TX;
KLTV - Tyler, TX;
KCBD - Lubbock, TX;
WAFB - Baton Rouge, LA;
KPLC - Lake Charles, LA;
KSLA - Shreveport, LA;
WMC - Memphis, TN;
KFVS - Cape Giradeau, MO
KYOU - Ottumwa, IA.
WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast locally.
The Weather Channel, MSNBC and other national media highlighted MoonPie Over Mobile during their New Year's Eve coverage in 2011. The event should also be featured in the December issue of Southern Living magazine.
New Year's Eve – Saturday, December 31
7:30 p.m. – New Year's Eve Parade
The downtown parade will feature some of Mobile's best Mardi Gras floats and marching bands. As America's first Mardi Gras, Mobile takes great pride in this family-friendly celebration.
8:30 p.m. – Opening ceremony and remarks on Main Stage
Mobile's elected officials will officially kick off the MoonPie Over Mobile celebration and help prepare the crowd to welcome the New Year and Mardi Gras season.
8:30 – 11:00 p.m. – Local and regional live entertainment on the Main Stage.
From country to hip hop, local and regional musicians will keep the street party lively. Street vendors will offer a variety of food and drink options for the revelers.
11:00 p.m. – Three Dog Night performs on the Main Stage.
International hits include "Mama Told Me (Not To Come)", "Joy to The World," "Black and White," "Shambala," "One," "Liar," "Celebrate," and many more.
11:30 p.m. – Light show begins downtown
Three Dog Night will continue to perform as the lights of RSA Battle House Tower and the Renaissance Riverview Plaza put on a light show for the crowd.
11:59 p.m. – Countdown starts as the giant MoonPie descends from atop the RSA BankTrust Building.
Midnight – Laser and fireworks show over downtown Mobile.
In addition to the giant MoonPie and laser show on the RSA BankTrust Building, Mobile will have four synchronized fireworks shows to help properly welcome 2011.
12:30 a.m. –Three Dog Night performance concludes. Crowds enter downtown bars, restaurants and hotels to continue celebrating the New Year.
MoonPie Over Mobile Sponsors
City of Mobile
Retirement Systems of Alabama
Blue Gill Restaurant