The public is invited to come out and commemorate Alabama’s 200th birthday celebration Friday, May 5. Alabama 200, a three-year celebration of the state, will launch in the historic heart of Mobile, the state’s oldest city.
On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she will help the city of Mobile raise the first flag for the commemoration of Alabama’s 200th birthday. The celebration will begin at Cooper Riverside Park at 6 p.m. with a formal ceremony. Downtown celebration and musical entertainment will follow.
Ivey said the bicentennial is not just about celebrating Alabama’s past, but its future.
“Alabama has a rich history. As we embark on the three-year celebration of our 200th anniversary, we will be reminded of the hard work, dedication, and resolve of our people,” Ivey said. “Yet, our bicentennial is not only about our past accomplishments as a people, it is also a launching point for the untold numbers of innovations that will come from Alabamians in the next 200 years.”
Event organizers say there is free admission to many of the city’s historic sites, including the History Museum of Mobile, the Exploreum and the Mardi Gras Museum.
Mobile’s new Mardi Gras Park will be the center of activities, which include a makers’ market, face painting, and live music. The evening will end with fireworks over the Mobile River at 8 p.m. Food vendors and musical entertainment will continue until 10 p.m.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson says Mobile is known as the city “born to celebrate” for good reason. The first Mardi Gras happened in Mobile.
“We hosted the launch of the state’s sesquicentennial”, Stimpson said. “There is no better place to kick off this celebration, and the city is poised to make it as memorable, diverse and celebratory as we know how.”
Event organizers say visitors can take advantage of different specials in the downtown shops, restaurants and an exhibition of work by artist William Christenberry at the Mobile Museum of Art.
Governor Ivey, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne, Alabama Senator Arthur Orr, Ed Bridges, the director emeritus of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson will all take part in the celebration.
For more information about the launch, visit the website.