Looking for something different to do this New Year’s Eve? The City of Mobile, Alabama welcomes over 50,000 people each year to their unique New Year’s celebration, MoonPie over Mobile. Party the night away as you watch a 600 pound giant MoonPie drop at midnight, complete with a laser light show and fireworks. Welcome the new year with a little Mardi Gras flavor. After all, carnival season is just around the corner.
Celebrate New Years at MoonPie Over Mobile
Thousands of people gather in the streets of downtown Mobile to await the moment when the giant MoonPie drops from the sky, signifying the dawn of a new year as well as a new carnival season. USA Today Travel lists the Mobile, AL New Year’s Celebration as one of the 16 most unusual New Year’s Eve drops in the country. MoonPie Over Mobile is featured in both O, The Oprah Magazine, and Garden and Gun Magazine. Both named the celebration as a must-do New Year’s Eve event. As a matter of fact, TODAY, and Good Morning America have called MoonPie Over Mobile “one of the most unique and fun celebrations in the country.”
Significance of the MoonPie
Founded in 1702 by the French, the city of Mobile is the home of America’s very first Mardi Gras celebration. Yes, you read that correctly. While New Orleans may hold notoriety for the event, Mardi Gras actually started in the port city of Mobile, Alabama.
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If you’re familiar with Mardi Gras festivities, you know the MoonPie is a staple “throw” for revelers. First thrown from Mardi Gras floats in 1952, MoonPies have become Mobile’s favorite “throw.” The City of Mobile actually consumes more than 4 million MoonPies annually. Seriously.
World’s Largest, Edible MoonPie
Each New Year’s celebration kicks off at the Renaissance Riverview Hotel Plaza with the presentation of the world’s largest, edible MoonPie. The massive delicacy prepared by the Chattanooga Bakery, bakers of the original MoonPie, will be cut and fed to 200 people. As can be seen in the image above, this usually draws a large crowd. Make sure to arrive early.
Second Line Parade
No party in Mobile is complete without a parade. The celebration continues with a Second Line Parade led by the famous Excelsior Band. The term “Second Line” is a tradition in brass band parades. The “first line” is the main section of the parade and the “second line” are those who follow the band just to enjoy the music. Decorate an umbrella and come join in the fun.
Live musical acts will perform on stages set up in the downtown streets. Musical entertainment debuts around 9:30 p.m. and continues through midnight. In years past, musical headliners have included En Vogue, Village People, Gretchen Wilson, Wet Willie, The Commodores, and 38 Special, to name a few. This year’s headliner, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, are set to take the stage at 11:00 p.m.
MoonPie Drop, Laser Show and Fireworks
The 12-foot-tall MoonPie will begin its descent from the 34-story RSA Trustmark Building just before midnight. A giant countdown is projected onto the walls of the building so that everyone can keep up with the time. The celebrations at midnight include an elaborate laser light show on three of Mobile’s tallest buildings in addition to spectacular fireworks.
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The Port City has over 80 area hotels, bed and breakfasts and historic inns available in a variety of price ranges.
If you are looking to truly experience the Mobile area and all of its southern charm, I recommend staying in one of the following hotels:
- The Admiral Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. As one of the city’s most iconic hotels located in the heart of the entertainment and cultural district, this newly renovated historic hotel offers modern decor and deluxe amenities.
- Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, a Marriott hotel. My husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary with a stay at the Battle House and I must say it was a fabulous experience. The award-winning historic hotel is the essence of southern sophistication.
- Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa, located across the bay, just south of Fairhope. Members of the Historic Hotels of America, this hotel sits on 550 acres of scenic property on Mobile Bay. With a 20,000 square foot Grand Spa and two renowned golf courses, this is a great place to relax.
Can’t make it in time for New Year’s Eve? You still have time to plan a great getaway to Mobile for Mardi Gras. The official 2018 Mardi Gras season kicks off in downtown Mobile Friday, January 26th with the Conde Cavaliers parade hitting the streets at 6:30 p.m. Parades will continue throughout the next two weeks ending on Fat Tuesday, February 13th. As shown above, events in the City of Mobile are worth traveling for.
“Mobile is a city where you come for the history, stay for the culture, return for the food. Mobile is a city born to celebrate.” – Visit Mobile