The 2015 MoonPie Over Mobile event will be a little different this year because it will be competing for attention with the Alabama Crimson Tide’s appearance in the college football playoff.
Because coverage of the Cotton Bowl is slated to begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, the event’s headliner En Vogue will be the only musical act to perform. There will be no opener.
To entice football fans downtown, the event will feature large, wide-screen televisions — described as “jumbotrons” — to view the game against Michigan State. The screens will be placed in and around Bienville Square, according to the schedule.
Councilman Fred Richardson said even with the game, he hopes the event can be the biggest yet, if the weather holds out. He said last year a number of visitors were from out of town, but he hopes to see more locals take part in the event this year. The MoonPie Drop will also be televised throughout the Central time zone through Raycom Media.
Events Mobile President Carol Hunter said the schedule has been tweaked to further accommodate fans. The Excelsior Band will strike up about 9 p.m. and the world’s largest MoonPie will be cut and served later, at 9:45 p.m. in the Riverview Plaza Hotel courtyard on Royal Street.
The second-line parade will leave from the Riverview at 10:15 p.m. and head toward the stage. The public is invited to join the parade. Prizes will be given for the best-decorated umbrellas.
En Vogue will take the stage at 11 p.m. and the MoonPie drop, fireworks and a light show will take place at midnight.
Along with in-kind services, the city gave Events Mobile a $125,000 performance contract for the MoonPie drop and other events throughout the year, Hunter has said. The county pitched in $25,000 for marketing.
Included in the $125,000 from the city is about $15,000 for a fireworks display, Richardson said. In the past the city has looked to public-private partnerships, most notably with Dean McCrary Auto Group, to help defray the cost of the fireworks show. Richardson cited the cancellation of BayFest as the reason the council pitched in more this year.