Now that the holiday season is behind us it’s time to look ahead to the start of Mardi Gras here in south Mobile County.
Krewe de la Dauphine
As always, we’ll be kicking off the season with our own on Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m. This colorful and expansive parade of floats, marching bands, vintage cars and more will travel west along Bienville Blvd. from DI Sea Lab to the condos. This year’s theme is “KDLD’s 25TH Celebrating Famous Couples” featuring floats including Ken & Barbie, Fred & Wilma, Romeo & Juliet and Fred & Daphne among others.
The following weekend is usually reserved for the Island Mystics but that group recently notified town officials that they would not be parading in 2017. The news was unexpected and left us with an opportunity to fill the void with a home-grown parade of our own. The town council endorsed that idea and volunteers are already hard at work doing just that. Details are not yet final but organizers are focused on a “peoples parade” model that would include various types of entries including floats, vehicles w/ trailers (including boats on trailers), marching bands, mounted units, vintage cars, walking groups and more. Space in the parade is limited (approx. 50 units) and a nominal registration fee will apply with all proceeds supporting the Little Red Schoolhouse project. For more information contact Mary Strickland at (251) 861-5525 ext.222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A day in the life of a Civil War Solider
Come and experience it at historic Fort Gaines on January 28. There will be cannon and rifle firings, drill & blacksmith demonstrations, open hearth cooking and more throughout the day. Come early to enjoy this unique event and stick around until 1 pm to catch a Moon Pie or two at the annual Krewe de la Dauphine Mardi Gras parade!
Annual Chili & Wings Cook-Off
Your taste buds will be doing the tango on Saturday, January 14 when you sample the delicious assortment of foods available, sponsored by Fins. In addition to the savory selections being served up by teams vying for top honors, there will be live music and activities for the kids. Admission is $10 per person and all proceeds will be spilt between DI Elementary School and the ongoing project to preserve the historic Little Red Schoolhouse! For more info or to register a team contact Gene Fox at (251) 370-8150.
Battle of Mobile Bay 5K Race
Lace up your running shoes and get ready to take part on Saturday, February 11 at 8:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Port City Pacers running organization, this annual event draws several hundred participants and proceeds from the race go to support historic Fort Gaines. For registration and other race info check out pcpacers.org.
After several years of planning, fundraising and negotiations the historic Dauphin Island Little Red Schoolhouse made its way down Bienville Blvd. on December 7, 2016 to its new home across from Town Hall. The massive move, orchestrated by Ducky Johnson House Movers, involved a parade of heavy equipment each carrying one of three sections of the 80+ year old building. Alabama Power and Comcast Cable personnel led the way raising and/or removing overhead lines and reconnecting service as the building parts cleared areas from west to east. In addition, all 100+ students of DI Elementary School walked along the bike trail to participate in a symbolic transfer of the building to the community. The moving company expects to finish its work on the placement of the building by mid-January and the town will be announcing volunteer work days to help with minor repairs shortly thereafter. Plans are to utilize the building as a community multi-purpose facility to include Welcome Center, Lending Library, Museum, Meeting Rooms and more. The town appreciates the generous financial support provided by the DI Chamber of Commerce and to the Mobile County School Board for giving us the opportunity to preserve an integral piece of Dauphin Island history!