October 25, 2012

The Bicentennial Commission of Mobile County Inc., is pleased to announce that its 200th birthday party is moving into high gear and you’re invited to attend. End-of-the-year events include:

  • A free, open-air concert by the Mobile Symphony Orchestra
  • A leadership luncheon with former Gov. Bob Riley
  • A free birthday bash following the annual Christmas and holiday parade.

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra Veterans Day Armed Forces Tribute, a free outdoor concert, is set for Sunday, November 11, at 3:30 p.m. at the new Mobile County Bicentennial Pavilion, now under construction at Medal of Honor Park (formerly Cottage Hill Park). This Veterans Day celebration will feature the full orchestra in a musical tribute to the nation’s service men and women and the dedication of the new, 2,500-square-foot pavilion.

This free concert is presented by the Mobile County Bicentennial Commission and title sponsor Austal USA. Supporting sponsors are Adams and Reese, The Atchison Firm, Burr and Forman, Hand Arendall, International Shipholding Corp., Johnstone Adams, Volkert and Associates, WKRG News 5 and the City of Mobile, Spot of Tea and BankTrust.

Before the 78-piece orchestra takes its place as the inaugural performance in the new pavilion, performance venue will be properly dedicated as a $350,000 Bicentennial legacy gift to the community.

According to Gregg Gustafson, chief executive officer of the Mobile Symphony, the concert will feature “lots of fanfare, well-known patriotic music, and the must-play 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky with its scoring for cannon blasts and other rousing parts.” (By coincidence, the 1812 overture was written to commemorate Russia’s defeat of the French Emperor Napoleon in 1812. That this coincided with the birthday year of the County of Mobile is, well, just a bit of sweet serendipity.

“What a way to celebrate a birthday, but with a full orchestra and a tribute to our service men and women today, and over the centuries, who have secured for us the freedom to choose our destiny,” Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson said. “Two hundred years never looked so good!”

“It’s perfect to celebrate Mobile County’s birth on December 18, 1812,” Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood said. “The people who were there then, and the struggles they faced, laid the foundation for who we are today.”

The rain date for the concert is Monday, November 12, at 6:30 p.m.

The Mobile County Leadership Gala is a luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, November 15 at the Mobile Marriott, 3101 Airport Blvd. It will honor leaders from throughout the county. Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley will be the guest speaker.

“This is a terrific opportunity to highlight the leadership from all over the county that continues to lead us forward,” said Maura Garino, who serves on the Bicentennial’s History and Education Committee.

Honorees include Harold Austin, Citronelle; Ellen Lesley, Saraland; Linda Robbins, Satsuma; Alice S. Rutland, Mt. Vernon; Judy Hale, Semmes; Capt. Don Rose, Mobile; Latrenda Torrence-Salter, Mobile; Paul Sousa, Mobile; Kaye Brown, Mobile; Marlon Firle, Mobile; John Tyson Sr., Mobile; Mary Zoghby, Mobile. Also being honored are the local businesses of Airbus USA and Austal USA.

Cost to attend the luncheon is $25 per ticket and tickets are tax-deductible. To purchase tickets, please call 251-272-9633.

The Mobile County Bicentennial Birthday Bash will happen December 15 in downtown Mobile following the Christmas and Holiday Parade. That’s all we’re saying for now, except to mark your calendar and stay tuned for details, which will be announced closer to the date.


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