It's a time of the year for multiple attractions in southern Alabama.

The nation's top college all-star game, the Reese's Senior Bowl, is in Mobile on February 3.

Mardi Gras balls and parades go on for weeks, ending on Fat Tuesday, February 13. Alabama hosts America's original Mardi Gras, which was started in Mobile.

And we have Valentine's Day.

The closest thing the state has to an official Valentine's event is on Friday, February 9, at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Details and ticket information here.

Mobile Big Band Society said of the event:

"Join us for a delightful evening of music, dancing, and romance at the Valentine Dinner Dance with the Mobile Big Band Society. This in-person event will take place on Fri Feb 09 2024 at 6:30 p.m. (Central Standard Time).

Experience the enchanting melodies of the Mobile Big Band Society as they serenade you with their captivating tunes. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or just looking to have a fun night out, this event promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Indulge in a delectable dinner specially prepared for this occasion, with a menu that will tantalize your taste buds. Savor the flavors while enjoying the company of your loved ones and fellow music enthusiasts.

So put on your dancing shoes, grab your partner, and get ready to sway to the rhythm of the Mobile Big Band Society. This Valentine Dinner Dance is the perfect way to celebrate love, music, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.”

Music by the Mobile Big Band is for dancing the Swing, the Cha Cha, the Waltz, the Rhumba, the Tango, freestyle and romantical slow dancing.

Noted South Alabama musicians who play with the Mobile Bay Big Band include:

Chip Herrington, trumpet and band director. Attorney and Air Force Veteran.

Chip Herrington. Trumpet,  Band director. Photo:  Southern Rambler Alabama News
Chip Herrington. Trumpet, Band director. Photo: Southern Rambler

Hosea London, trumpet and director of the famous Excelsior Marching Jazz Band.

Hosea London with Wynton Marsalis. Photo: London Facebook Alabama News
Hosea London with Wynton Marsalis. Photo: London Facebook

William (Bill) Steele. Saxophone. U.S. District Judge.

Judge William Steele. Facebook Alabama News
Judge William Steele. Facebook

Take a remarkable walk down South Alabama's musical history by reading the biographies of musicians of the Mobile Big Band here.

The Valentine's Dinner features Conecuh Sausage and wild rice stuffed chicken topped with smoked gouda sauce.

Some folks asked why a Valentine's dinner/dance is being held on February 9 instead of the actual Valentine's Day of February 14. It's partly because a dance is better on a Friday than a Wednesday. But there's an additional reason. Once every 12 years, Valentine's Day falls on a religious holiday, Ash Wednesday, the beginning day of Lent. That's the situation in 2024, so the Mobile Big Band Society honored the holy day and Lenten season by moving their Valentine's dinner/dance to the previous Friday, February 9.

See you at the Battleship! I will be the guy dressed in Valentine's red.

Continuing the performance and preservation of Big Band Music

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

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