The Lodge at Gulf State Park will host Gov. Kay Ivey's pre-inauguration party on Jan. 12.By John Mullen

January 10, 2019 – Orange Beach, AL (OBA®) – Gov. Kay Ivey is going to kick her inauguration celebration with a bang here on the Gulf Coast and officials from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are happy to help play host.

On Saturday dignitaries from all over the state as well as citizens will gather at the gleaming new Gulf State Park Lodge for Ivey’s party. Platinum-selling country artist Neal McCoy will sing and fireworks will light up the night. Both cities will contribute $10,000 to the celebration with Gulf Shores’ portion paying for the fireworks show.

The fireworks show will be between 8:45 and 9:00 pm. They will be shot from the Gulf State Park Pier. 

Tony Kennon, Mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama. On Jan. 8, the Orange Beach City Council passed a resolution to spend the money to help put on the show.

“The reason being I really think we’re blessed that the governor recognizes the coast enough to bring an inaugural event to the Gulf State Lodge,” Mayor Tony Kennon said. “No other governor has come to the Gulf Coast before for an inaugural event. This is a first.”

Ivey, who took over from scandal-plagued Robert Bentley in 2017 won a full four-year term in November and could be the key to many ongoing and future projects vital to infrastructure and traffic flow in both cities.

“We put the money there to show our support and to also help out so it could be open to the public at a very fair price,” Kennon said. “We think it’s money well spent to have a full night with our governor, hobnob, get to know her and for her to get to know us.”

Tickets are $25 or gain admission by donating four children’s books to the Alabama Literacy Alliance. Sign up for either option at

Kennon said several projects, including the new roadway and bridge project planned over the Intracoastal Waterway, will face vital decisions in the coming years and Ivey’s support will be needed.

Orange Beach, Alabama, Councilman Jeff Silvers.“Essentially everything we do down here we rely on a federal or state agency to approve it or to facilitate it whatever it may be,” Kennon said. “Our roads are state, our waters are state and federal, our beaches are federal. There’s not much that we don’t do that we have to have them on board with us. A good reputation and a good relationship are absolutely critical for us to function at a high level and I think we are there.”

Councilman Jeff Silvers said the city has been cultivating relationships with state leaders and the celebration is a way help grow those connections.

“I think we’ve got the ear of Montgomery, we’ve been working well with them, they’ve been working well with you,” Silvers told Kennon at the Jan. 8 meeting. “We’ve got a lot of projects going on and forthcoming. I think this will be beneficial.”

Gulf Shores passed a resolution to spend its $10,000 for the beachfront fireworks show.

“We are honored to have a Gulf Coast inaugural celebration at the new lodge for Gov. Ivey,” Mayor Robert Craft said. “There will be a big group from Montgomery there. This will be an opportunity for us to celebrate her being our governor. Her support in Montgomery for the next four years is going to be vital to the things that we want to do. We can hang out with all the folks we depend on in Montgomery.”

Robert Craft, Mayor of Gulf Shores, Alabama.Also during the Jan. 8 Orange Beach regular session, the council:

  • Passed a resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute with Gates Builders for the Art Center Gallery and Children's Studio for just more than $15,000.
  • Passed a resolution for a contract for billboard advertising with the Lamar Company for $7,200.
  • Passed a resolution appropriating $10,000 to the Governor Kay Ivey Inaugural Committee for the Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration event on Jan. 12 at the Gulf State Park Lodge
  • Passed a resolution to buy a vehicle for the Coastal Resources Department from the Alabama Department of Transportation for $22,811.
  • Held a public hearing on a major planned unit development change at Sunset Park on the north side of Canal Road at Cypress Street. Developers want to change it from a 60-unit condo development to 44 lots of single-family houses. After the hearing, the council voted 6-0 to allow the change.
  • Held a public hearing on a major PUD change at The Wharf to allow for a 48,700 square foot asphalt pad in the parking lot south of the theaters. The lot was installed without permitting for the World Food Championships. After the hearing, the council voted 6-0 to allow the change.

Also, during the Orange Beach Jan. 8 work session, the council:

  • Discussed a resolution authorizing the purchase of extrication tools for the fire department through HGAC-Buy in the amount of $84,645.
  • Discussed rescheduling the meeting set for March 5 because it is Fat Tuesday. The council will meet on March 12 and March 19.
  • Discussed a resolution authorizing a right-of-way use agreement for Harbor Communication.
  • Discussed a resolution authorizing payment of up to $3,000 to the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber for the Annual Electronic Recycling and Paper Shred Event. It will be at the Gulf State Park beach pavilion on Jan. 19 from 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Discussed a resolution amendment to authorize the purchase of dredged sand for use on beaches at East Alabama Point in an amount not to exceed $859,500.
  • Discussed a resolution to award the bid for SR-161 Intersection Improvements at Terry Cove Drive.
  • Discussed a resolution awarding the bid for barricades and a trailer to hall them.
  • Discussed a resolution amending the Employees Pay Plan/Job Listing to accommodate the approved 2019 budget.