Gecko World begins Aug. 1, and lasts all month long in Gulfport. The quirky end-of-summer celebrations offer something for everyone, and a portion of proceeds benefit local non-profit groups, as well as the commission of public art installations in the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District. For more information contact Suzanne King at SuzFest@gmail.com or (727) 322-5217.
Friday, Aug. 1: Visitors get a sneak peek at some of this year’s Extreme Entertainment’s GECKOFEST street performers during the Gulfport Art Walk from 6 to 10 pm. Musicians appear at venues throughout the Waterfront Arts District, along with 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.
Saturday, Aug. 9: The seventh annual Gecko Pub Crawl goes through six Gulfport locations from 5 to 9 pm. Participating businesses are Beach Haus, Little Tommie’s Tiki, Mangia Gourmet, Neptune Grille, O’Maddy’s, and Salty’s of Gulfport, all 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 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. Participants for poker and raffle awards must be present to win. Tickets are $20 and available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. Crawlers must be 21 to participate. For more information, contact Biff Lagan at (305) 923-1803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, Aug. 16: Third Saturday’s Gulfport Art Walk 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 Beach Boulevard.
Saturday, Aug. 24: Break out your best Charleston dance moves! “Roaring Geckos” will be the theme of Gulfport’s sixth annual Gecko Ball. The “Roaring Geckos” theme will evoke the Roaring '20s, including its music, dancing, hairstyles, clothing and costumes, fads, movies. 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 1920s 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.) The Gecko Ball will be at the historic waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom (5500 Shore Boulevard South) from 6 to 11 pm. Tickets are $35 per person and available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar, ’3115 Beach Boulevard South as well as online at www.GulfportMA.com. 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 email@example.com or 727-204-8101 for details.
Saturday, Aug. 30: Gulfport’s 14th annual Geckofest will bring entertainment to the streets all day long, 10 am to 10 pm. The artistic energy of Gulfport meets the colorful flair of Mardi Gras. Amid thousands of festival-goers, hundreds of vendors and dozens of 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 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 and all festivities take place on Beach Boulevard.
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 near the surrounding area of 3129 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707. For information visit www.GulfportMA.com and/or www.Geckofest.com.
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