GULFPORT, FLORIDA: A series of very interesting events begins on August 1st, with what locals have come to know as “Gecko World”. Gulfport’s quirky end of summer celebrations span the entire month of August with five incredible events and activities for everyone to enjoy. A portion of proceeds from all “Gecko World” events will once again benefit local non-profit groups, as well as the commission of public art installations in the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District.
Friday, August 1: Visitors will get a sneak peek at some of this year’s Extreme Entertainment’s GECKOFEST street performers who will be interacting with guests during the Gulfport Art Walk on Friday August 1st from 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Live musicians appear at several venues throughout the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District, along with talented artisans, craftsmen and emerging artists whose gifts range from sculpture and paint mediums to jewelry, photography, upcycled items, clothing and accessories, body products and more. Visitors can view the stars through St. Pete Astronomy Club’s state of the art telescopes, weather permitting, every first Friday. While browsing the art and craft booths, don’t miss Gulfport’s unique shops, boutiques and galleries and enjoy dinner at one of over a dozen fine restaurants within the area, now one of the foremost dining destinations in Tampa Bay. Convenient complimentary parking is close by and courtesy trolley rides are available from off-site parking areas. There is no admission fee and the event is pet and family friendly! For more information, follow Gulfport Art Walk on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfportArtWalk and/or visit us at www.GulfportMA.com.
Saturday, August 9: On Saturday, August 9th, The seventh annual Gecko Pub Crawl will offer crawlers a chance to enjoy an adult beverage at six different Gulfport locations from 5-9:00 pm. Participating businesses are Beach Haus, Little Tommie’s Tiki, Mangia Gourmet, Neptune Grille, O’Maddy’s, and Salty’s of Gulfport, all located within easy walking distance in the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District. Crawlers may start at any participating location and continue their Crawl in any order. An After-Party will be held at Salty’s from 9 to 10 pm and will feature awards, drawings and live music. A Poker Run game of Five Card Stud will add to the evening’s festivities. Crawlers will be dealt a free card from a Crawl Ambassador at each location when they pick up their drink token. Up to three extra cards may also be purchased for $5.00 each at Salty’s at check in. The Grand Prize for best poker hand will be a two-night stay at the Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach! Raffle drawings will also be held during the After Party, with various prizes, including the chance to win a pair of coveted tickets to this year’s “Roaring Geckos” Gecko Ball! Participants for poker and raffle awards must be present to win. Tickets are $20.00 and are available now from the Gulfport Beach Bazaar’s Box Office, located at 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. Crawlers must be 21 to participate. For more information, contact Biff Lagan at (305) 923-1803 or email@example.com.
Saturday, August 16: Third Saturday’s Gulfport Art Walk on August 16 will feature Nicktorious and Dallas the Fire Guy from Extreme Entertainment. With an amazing blend of comedy, juggling, strength and balance, “Dallas the Fire Guy” will enchant and captivate everyone young and old with his extreme high energy, “dangerous” and hilarious production. Also appearing aside Dallas is his son Nicktorious who has been performing street theatre since the age of nine. Nicktorious is an expert escape artist and has learned the art of capturing his audience with his engaging personality and excellent show. Talented independent artisans and craftsmen will be at work all along Beach & Shore Boulevards, as well as the works of local authors and entertainers stretched over a half-mile up and down scenic Beach Boulevard. Live musicians appear during each art walk at venues throughout the historic waterfront district. Visitors can observe live glass blowing demonstrations or even take a class to blow their own masterpiece at The Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport located in the Alley of the Arts. Convenient complimentary parking is close by and courtesy trolley rides are available from off-site parking areas from 6-10:00 pm. There is no admission fee and the event is pet and family friendly! For more information, follow Gulfport Art Walk on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfportArtWalk and/or visit us at www.GulfportMA.com.
Saturday, August 23: Break out your best “Charleston” dance moves! “Roaring Geckos” will be the theme of Gulfport’s Sixth Annual Gecko Ball on Saturday, August 24th. The “Roaring Geckos” theme will evoke the Roaring Twenties, including its music, dancing, hair styles, clothing and costumes, fads, movies and many other touchstones of the 1920s era. The event gets larger and more popular each year, including over the top décor, cocktail specials, cash bar, hors d’oeuvre, a dinner buffet, commemorative photo booth, dozens of silent auction items, and the popular live auction of geckos created by local artists. Dress a la 1920’s or dress as a gecko, or combine the two! A costume contest will determine some of the best outfits in the house. (Costumes are encouraged but are not mandatory.) Appearing live at this year’s Ball, the Z Street Speakeasy Band will offer dance-floor-ready tunes from the 20’s through today. There will be many other surprises in store, creating what has become known as Gulfport’s Party of the Year! The Gecko Ball will be held at the historic waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom (5500 Shore Boulevard South) from 6-11:00 pm. Tickets for Gecko Ball are $35 per person and are on sale at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar’s “Bazaar Box Office” at 3115 Beach Boulevard South as well as online at www.GulfportMA.com until the event sells out. The Gecko Ball sells out every year, so would-be Ball-goers are encouraged to purchase tickets as far in advance as possible. Contact Richard Radovic at firstname.lastname@example.org 727-204-8101 for details.
Saturday, August 30: Gulfport’s 14th Annual Geckofest will bring entertainment to the streets during a daylong spectacle on Saturday, August 30th. Combining the artistic energy of Gulfport with the colorful flair of Mardi Gras, Amid the thousands of festival-goers, hundreds of vendors and dozens of live musicians on two stages, expect to come face to face with mimes, magicians, jugglers, acrobats, fire dancers and more, creating an “up close and personal” circus atmosphere throughout the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District. Each year, Gulfport celebrates the end of summer with its largest festival of the year, dedicated to the town’s unofficial mascot and favorite reptile. This quirky family friendly street festival has grown to become one of Tampa Bay’s most anticipated events of the year. Entertainment in the streets is one of the hallmarks of Geckofest, with many both strolling and stationary performers interacting with visitors. This year’s festival brings more action, fun and thrills to the streets than ever before. A costume contest and parade, a thrilling fire and acrobatics show, and the famous street dance round out a fun-filled day for the whole family. “Roaring Geckos” will be the theme of this year’s event and all festivities take place on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
There is no admission fee for visitors, unless otherwise stated; Complimentary parking is available nearby with courtesy Gulfport Trolley rides available from off-site parking areas during Art Walks and Geckofest. All events and activities are located near the surrounding area of 3129 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707. For more information on these and other events, please visit www.GulfportMA.com and/or www.Geckofest.com.