Fans traveling to Mobile next week to cheer on the Trojans as they take on Ohio in the Dollar General Bowl should have no trouble finding activities to fill their trip.
Special activities are scheduled in conjunction with the bowl game beginning on Thursday, Dec. 22. The festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. with a street party, featuring food and live music, in Bienville Square. The party will be followed with a Mardi Gras Parade, beginning at 6:30 p.m. A pep rally, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Bienville Square, will close out the bowl-related activities.
On Friday, Dec. 23, Trojan Walk will take place at the team hotel, the Renaissance Riverview, beginning at 4:30 p.m. The TROY Alumni Association Tailgate Party will begin at 5 p.m. on the northeast side of Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.
For those spending a few extra days, Mobile offers a variety of sites, attractions and special activities, especially during the holidays.
If Christmas decorations and lights are your thing, there are several options from which to choose.
The Wales West Light Railway Arctic Express in Silverhill is open daily from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and takes visitors on a real steam train ride through a winter wonderland featuring more than a million lights. More information is available at waleswest.com or by phone at 888-569-5337.
Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens is now in its 21st season and is widely considered among the nation’s best Christmas lights displays, featuring 1,100 set pieces, more than 3 million lights and 15 scenes. The display runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly. For additional information, call 251-973-2217 or visit https://bellingrath.org/experiences/events/magic-christmas-in-lights-2016/.
Christmas Nights of Lights, open daily 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., is located at the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum, 755 Bolling Brothers Blvd. The display includes more than 1 million lights synchronized to both traditional and contemporary music that plays through your car radio. For additional information, visit http://www.christmasnightsoflights.com/mobile.
If you would like a little physical activity and want to try your hand at ice skating, Riverside Ice provides the opportunity to lace up the skates. Presented by Airbus Group, Riverside Ice is located at Cooper Riverside Park at Water and Government streets and is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday – Thursday, at 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. For additional information, call 251-377-0101 or visit www.riversideice.com.
For those looking for indoor activities, there is much to choose from as well.
The Mobile Museum of Art is featuring the exhibit “A Passion for the Past: New Acquisitions from the Schoenknecht-Paul Collection,” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with expanded hours on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit features contemporary ceramics and glass pieces from decorative art collectors Charles G. Shoenknecht and Ward A. Paul. For additional information, call 251-208-5200 or visit http://www.mobilemuseumofart.com/.
The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX Theatre presents “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World,” a nationally touring exhibition from the collection of the National Guitar Museum. The exhibit explores the sound, science, history and cultural impact of the world’s most recognized musical instrument, featuring more than 70 guitars and nearly 100 artifacts that immerse visitors in to the heart of music, from classical to heavy metal to country.
The Gulf Coast Exploreum also features the exhibit “It’s Always Rock and Roll: The Work of Photojournalist Janet Macoska,” featuring more than 50 photographs in an exhibit organized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. For additional information, call 251-605-7067 or visit http://www.exploreum.com/.
The GulfQuest/National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico is featuring the exhibit “Treasures of NOAA’s Ark,” the story that begins in 1807 when Thomas Jefferson commissioned the nation’s first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, and continues today with the Global Positioning Systems and weather satellite imagery. The exhibit will take visitors on a tour of more than 200 years of science and service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its ancestor agencies. The museum is located at 155 Water St. For additional information, call 251-436-8901 or visit www.gulfquest.org.
Of course, you have to eat, and Mobile provides a variety of dining options from fresh Gulf seafood to Southern home cooking, featuring farm-to-table, locally sourced meals, to a slow-cooked pit barbecue. For additional information on restaurants and accommodations, visit www.mobile.org.
So, travel on down to Mobile, enjoy some good food and family fun, and then make your way to Ladd-Peebles to route the Trojans onto victory in the Dollar General Bowl.