Gulfport Wants You to “Get Your Gecko On”
Join the O-Fish-Al Gecko Goddess and other weird and fanciful creatures in a special Gecko Garden created just for the day’s events. A portion of the proceeds from Gulfport’s annual end-of-summer bash will benefit public art installation in the city’s waterfront district.
GULFPORT – The 15th Annual GeckoFest will bring entertainment to streets and stages during a daylong spectacle Saturday (Sept. 5).
Colorful costumes are encouraged for all! Visitors may wish to don a gecko costume, or come as any other character they may imagine. The theme for this year’s Gecko events is “Gecko Gras.” Show off your costume or just your Gecko spirit by joining the traditional afternoon GeckoFest Walking Parade, led by Gulfport’s Mayor, and including the O-Fish-Al Gecko Goddess and the Gecko Queen and her Court. A costume contest following the parade will offer an opportunity to win prizes for some of the day’s best ensembles for adults and for kids.
Amid the thousands of festival-goers, hundreds of vendors and dozens of live musicians on two stages, expect to come face to face with acrobats, aerialists, break dancers, escape artists, magicians, jugglers, fire performers and more, creating an interactive circus atmosphere throughout the waterfront village. All festivities take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport. GeckoFest is free. It is pet- and family-friendly.
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. GeckoFest has grown to become one of Tampa Bay’s most anticipated events of the year. Live music, a kid’s activities area, and vendors throughout the village are all part of the fun. Strolling and stationary street performers are now also a hallmark of the GeckoFest tradition.
This year’s street performers bring more fun and thrills to the streets than ever before, allowing visitors get close to the action. Many of the performances include interaction and audience participation with festival-goers of all ages. A full slate of other circus and magic performers, costumed characters (including pirates and superheroes), balloon artists, living statues, dancers and more will be spread throughout the village, offering free entertainment for the whole family throughout the day.
Live music on two stages will entertain the GeckoFest throngs again this year. Headliners include popular local favorites. Headliners are well-known Florida favorites playing high-energy danceable pop music covers and originals. The famous GeckoFest street dance will close out a day of live music with a party in the streets.
A free kid’s zone will be dedicated to GeckoFest games and creative activities for children in Gulfport’s Art Village Courtyard from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Over 200 vendors will line the streets of Gulfport’s waterfront village during the festival. This year, non-food and non-sponsor vendors have been limited to only independent artists and businesses offering hand-made or locally produced items. Purchases from these vendors will support only independent small and locally-owned businesses. Gulfport’s own independent shops and galleries also offer great one-of-kind treasures. A variety of street food vendors will also complement choices from over a dozen of Gulfport’s own great, independent restaurants. Two beer and wine vending areas will also be on hand for festival-goers.
Parking for GeckoFest is free. Free shuttles also offer visitors an opportunity to park in off-site locations for transportation to and from their vehicle and the festival site.
Gulfport | GeckoFest | Labor Day Events | TB Reporter
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