Gulfport Gets Groovy 

From left, Ken Driscoll, Chickie Cummings, Alley Kay and Don Cummings, all originally from Boston and now from St. Petersburg. “There’s a lot of togetherness,” Chickie said of the ball, “which is what this country needs right now.”

Flower children and hippies turned out en mass Saturday, August 26 for the ninth annual Gecko Ball fundraiser at the Gulfport Casino, which was decked out in a psychedelic riot of peace signs, tie dye and posters of 1960s bands.

The theme of this year’s ball was Geckostock, named after the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair that became a symbol of the era’s countercultural revolution and anti-war movement. Ball participants enjoyed  food, drink, music and a silent auction, and shook their booties on the dance floor to period tunes belted out by the Thowback Band.

The annual ball is one of several gecko-themed events held by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association, which donates part of the proceeds to local charities. Recipients this year will be Creative Play Preschool and the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund.

From left, Pamela Harding of Savannah, GA, Suzanne Harding of Gulfport and Gini Smith of Anna Maria mug for the camera in their costumes. Smith said she heard several people comment how this year’s ball had an especially positive vibe.




From left, newly crowned Gecko Queen Brian Liggins, Jackie Kreuter and Elizabeth Neily. “That’s what Gulfport’s all about – peace and love,” Kreuter said. “This couldn’t have been a better Gecko Ball.”




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