The band behind such hits as “YMCA” and “Macho Man” will make a stop in Mobile to help celebrate New Year’s Eve.
The Village People will be headlining the MoonPie Over Mobile this year. Evelyn “Champagne” King will join in the festivities as an opener, Austal Vice-President of Business Development and External Affairs Terry O’Brien announced today. The Sons of Funk will perform at the Bienville Square stage, Events Mobile Executive Director Carol Hunter said.
The full schedule will be released next week.
Austal will be sponsoring the main stage for the event, but Hunter said more sponsors were needed, especially for the fireworks show that concludes the event.
MoonPie Over Mobile is named for the 12-foot electronic MoonPie that descends from the RSA Trustmark building at midnight. In addition, the Chattanooga Bakery will make the world’s largest edible MoonPie for the event.
The city budgeted $110,000 for the celebration, but the total cost of the event can range from $175,000 to $190,000. The balance is paid by sponsorships, Hunter said.
Councilman Fred Richardson, who is credited with conceiving the MoonPie drop, said he was excited for this year’s event and wasn’t worried about funding. He said they had the money for the event.
“This may well be the most exciting New Year’s Eve event we’ve ever had,” Richardson said.
He said numbers last year were hurt because of a break between the parade and the main musical acts. Many families went home after the parade and didn’t come back. There will be no parade this year.
There has to be a bigger emphasis on attracting locals to the event this year, he said. Of the estimated 60,000 visitors downtown last year, only 40 percent were local. Richardson said that with more support from locals, the event could grow to a crowd of 100,000.
The event will be broadcast to 20 RayCom stations within Central Standard Time, Richardson said in comments during a press conference.
“We hope to corner the market in the time zone,” Richardson said. “We’re going after the crystal ball and we’re almost there.”
Hunter also announced that Events Mobile needed help to set the world record for largest gathering of elves, during ArtWalk Friday Dec. 12.
The current record is 1,110 elves, but Hunter said it could be beaten, if ArtWalk visitors dress in red and green, and wear ears and a cap to the event.