MoonPie Drop over Mobile to ring in 2014
Country music star Gretchen Wilson will be "Here for the Party" to sing in the New Year in downtown Mobile. All of the main entertainment will start off the music entertainment at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Francis streets on the edge of Bienville Square. The free celebration will begin with a Mardi Gras-style parade, and will end in an expanded laser light show and fireworks. It promises to be the best New Year's in the South and the perfect time to visit Mobile. In fact, the current issue of Garden and Gun magazine named the MoonPie event as the top New Year's Eve event in the South.
The 12-foot-tall electronic MoonPie will descend from the 34-story RSA Trustmark skyrise as the city welcomes 2014 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.
"Downtown Mobile is going to be the place to be this New Year's Eve," said Carol Hunter, President of Events Mobile, Inc. "Last year we had more than 60,000 people attend MoonPie Over Mobile and we hope to make it even larger this year," said Hunter. "We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Bronner and Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) help with this celebration." For the sixth year, MoonPie Over Mobile gives locals and tourists a chance to experience New Year's Eve with a bit of Mardi Gras flavor.
"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. Twenty Raycom television stations throughout the Central Time Zone can watch MoonPie Over Mobile live in a 35-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 a giant edible MoonPie at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza as the featured attraction for its New Year's Eve celebration.
About Gretchen Wilson
Gretchen Wilson has been rocking the charts and crowds since her debut single, "Redneck Woman" was released in 2004. Her debut album "Here for the Party" entered the country charts at number one and the pop charts at number two. With sales of 227,000 in the first week, she is celebrated as having the biggest opening week for a new country artist on record. In 2009 she started her own label, aptly titled Redneck Records, and released her single, "Work Hard, Play Harder," followed by the album "I've Got Your Country Right Here" in 2010. She released the impressive and diverse "Right on Time" in 2013. Her recently released Holiday Album has been recommended by the New York Times as one of the best holiday albums of 2013.
Two local acts will perform on the Bienville Square Stage – ISING and Worx.
Where Will MoonPie Over Mobile Be Televised?
Raycom Media will be doing a live 35-minute telecast from MoonPie Over Mobile. It will be telecast on the following stations:
WPGX/Panama City, FL
WAFB/Baton Rouge, LA
KPLC/Lake Charles, LA
KFVS/Cape Giradeau, MO
Locally, WKRG in Mobile will air the telecast.
MoonPie Over Mobile Schedule
New Year's Eve – Tuesday, December 31
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m – Local Act ISING performs on Bienville Square Stage
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Children's Activities and local live entertainment begin at Riverview Plaza Stage and Bienville Square. The Museum of Mobile, Exploreum and Carnival Museum will also be open and will have children's activities.
6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Local Act Worx performs on Bienville Square Stage
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.
7:45 p.m. – Giant edible MoonPie provided by Chattanooga Bakery begins serving at the Riverview Plaza Hotel
8:00 p.m. – Giant edible Chattanooga MoonPie served at Riverview Plaza Hotel
8:30 p.m. - 8:45 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.
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Opening act performs on the Main Stage
11:00 p.m. – Gretchen Wilson performs on the Main Stage.
11:30 p.m. – Light show begins downtown
Gretchen Wilson 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 Trustmark Building
Midnight – Laser and fireworks show over downtown Mobile
In addition to the giant MoonPie and laser show on the RSA Trustmark Building, Mobile will have four synchronized fireworks shows to help properly welcome 2011.
12:30 a.m. – Gretchen Wilson performance concludes