SOURCE: Marriott

Mobile Hotel

November 30, 2010 10:58 ET

MoonPie Mania Hitting Mobile

Giant MoonPie & Laser Show Debuting on New Year's Eve

MOBILE, AL--(Marketwire - November 30, 2010) - Tired of Times Square on New Year's? Try something new. Go Coastal! New Year's Eve plans in Mobile, Alabama just got sweeter -- thanks to a massive MoonPie that will fall from the sky at midnight to the sounds of the O'Jays.

Revelers can enjoy an RC Cola or a glass of champagne to ring in the New Year in downtown Mobile. This year's free celebration will be held in a new location and feature live entertainment with an electronic display debuting at midnight. The 12-foot-tall MoonPie will descend from a 34-story building as the city welcomes 2011 and the beginning of Mardi Gras season.

This year's MoonPie Over Mobile celebration will start the afternoon of Dec. 31 with a Mardi Gras-style parade. Afterwards, a street party featuring two stages of live entertainment will help draw thousands of people downtown. From the legendary O'Jays and their "Love Train" to the sounds of big bands and other musical tastes, downtown Mobile will be one giant street party. At midnight, all eyes will be on the RSA BankTrust skyrise for the new MoonPie countdown, accompanied by an elaborate laser and fireworks show. 

"Downtown Mobile is going to be the place to be this New Year's Eve," said Mayor Sam 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.

"All eyes will be on Mobile this New Year's Eve" said Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama. "The new laser show on our building will be a real showstopper."

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.

In addition to all of the New Year's Eve festivities, the Carnival Fun Ship "Elation" will depart from the Mobile cruise terminal on New Year's Day on a five day Western Caribbean cruise, for those visitors who want to extend their New Year celebration.

For more information about Mobile accommodations, consumers should visit: www.mobile.org.
Additional details on MoonPie Over Mobile can be found at www.mobilenewyear.com
Downloadable images of last year's MoonPie Over Mobile Celebration can be found at www.mobile.org
More information on the O'Jays is available at www.theojayshomepage.com.
B-Roll and additional images are available upon request.