New FOX 10 News Mardi Gras float celebrates WALA 70 years of broadcasting

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:50 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - If you’re lucky -- part of the fun during carnival season -- is riding on a float. FOX 10 has had a float for years -- that just underwent a major overhaul. Our Lee Peck has been following the progress the last couple of months and has the big reveal!

We started with a clean slate. The pieces of the FOX 10 Mardi Gras float are carefully cut and eventually connected for a three-dimensional shell.

“A little bit bigger float -- did it -- instead of before it was kind of a box. It’s like anybody building a float -- all this is is a piece of plywood that’s been randomly cut with a saber saw to where you don’t have just a square box look to what I call gives it humps and bumps. It just gives it more texture,” explained George Criminale, FOX 10 News.

While the build is a team effort -- George is one of the masterminds behind this creation. He’s been building floats his entire life.

“I’ve been involved with Mardi Gras -- my dad built his first float in 1938. There’s actually a picture of me on a Floral Parade float on my first birthday. My mother sort of partly holding me up,” recalled George.

As FOX 10 celebrates 70 years -- we’re giving the float some next level lighting!

“So we’re doing with the LED lighting. So we can do red, blue, green -- or any color we want and so that’s just going to be part of the 70th anniversary float. Few letters here -- still got a few to go,” said Roland Fields, FOX 10 Engineering.

As the paint eventually goes on -- a cloudy blue is the color of choice. The vision finally starts to really take shape. Days later -- 70 years of WALA broadcasting -- featured around the float.

“This celebrates 70 years of WALA. This is from the 1950s when were downtown Mobile. And move off to the right -- there is the famed John Ed Thompson,” explained Bill Flowers, FOX 10 News. “Dot Moore -- was one of the fixtures of WALA. She had a show -- kind of a talk show that was way before Studio 10.”

Adding a little purple, green and gold, those fancy lights, and some cool music -- our new look is almost complete.

“Lee: You just walked up and you’re seeing the float for the first time -- honest reaction. Lacey Beasley/FOX 10 Reporter: I’m very impressed! I feel like this is a huge step up from years past -- it’s colorful! I love the radio/the stereo that’s going to be on the float with the loud music... The side of it -- it looks great! I’m impressed!”

Like our float -- FOX 10 News -- keeps getting better! 70 years never looked so good! Now ready to roll in style... We’ll see you on the parade route!

The new FOX 10 float is set to ride in multiple parades on both sides of the bay -- the first Saturday (Feb. 4th) night’s Pharaoh’s and Conde Explorers Parade. Be sure and get our attention -- we have plenty of FOX 10 swag to throw your way.


Download the FOX10 Weather App. Get life-saving severe weather warnings and alerts for your location no matter where you are. Available free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.