As if they were stepping out of a Norman Rockwell painting of Americana, participants enveloped themselves in red, white and blue bunting for a parade then they let their eyes sparkle in the night with exploding streams of light to celebrate the Fourth-of-July national holiday Gulfport style.
In this welcoming small town, residents and visitors are all Gulfportians. That means they enjoyed geckos, tutus, a Gecko Queen, a trolley, a local marching band on parade as well as the traditional fire trucks, floats, a convertible with a dog and veteran, and lollypops handed out to the appreciative crowd.
The parade began at 6 p.m. cascading down Beach Boulevard from the municipal library to the Casino then it turned west onto Shore Boulevard. Mayor Sam Henderson emceed and his wife Laura sang the national anthem.
The only injury during the entire collection of events that ran from 8 a.m. to about 9:30 p.m. required a Band-Aid, said Fire Chief James V. Marenkovic.
“That’s my kind of slow day,” he said, smiling.