MOBILE, Ala., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 giant MoonPie Drop at midnight.
In addition to listening to the top hits of Three Dog Night and the 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 and great views of the MoonPie and the fireworks shows. 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.
"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." 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."
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.
MoonPie Over Mobile Timeline - December 31, 2011
- 7:30 p.m. - New Year's Eve Parade, Mardi Gras Style.
- 8:30 - 11:00 p.m. - Live entertainment on the Main Stage.
- 11:00 p.m. - Three Dog Night performs on the Main Stage.
- 11:30 p.m. - Light show begins downtown.
- 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.
- 12:30 a.m. - Three Dog Night performance concludes. Crowds enter downtown bars, restaurants and hotels to continue celebrating the New Year.
For details on MoonPie Over Mobile, visit www.mobilenewyear.com. Information on visiting Mobile and images can be found at www.mobile.org. More information on Three Dog Night is available at www.threedognight.com. B-Roll and images are available upon request.
Bill Lang, Director of Public Relations
PCH Hotels & Resorts
2011 MoonPie Over Mobile Fun Facts
- The giant MoonPie weighs 350 pounds and is 12 feet tall.
- The MoonPie will drop 317 feet in 60 seconds from atop the 34th floor of the RSA BankTrust Building.
- The original MoonPies are made by Chattanooga Bakery in Chattanooga, TN. Mobile consumes more than 4 million MoonPies annually.
- Mardi Gras first appeared in Mobile in 1703, the first location in the United States. MoonPies were first thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952 and have become Mobile's favorite "throw" ever since.
- Mardi Gras is big business in Mobile. More than 12,811 jobs are directly related to Mardi Gras in Mobile and Baldwin counties. The annual economic impact is more than $227 million in direct carnival spending.
- The first MoonPie Over Mobile celebration was held on Dec. 31, 2008 and was the idea of Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson. Councilman Richardson continues to serve on the Mobile City Council.
- The now-famous Three Dog Night name came from a story about Australian natives who, on cold nights in the outback, sleep with their dogs for warmth. The coldest evenings are known as a "three dog night." Hopefully Mobile's New Year's Eve weather will be a bit milder for the MoonPie Drop.
SOURCE Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau