Two weeks before the head elf will make his rounds through Gulfport, the city’s main drag, Beach Boulevard South, boasted a boatload of Santa and Santa-adjacent revelers for Santa Rampage.
Now in its second year, the Witches of Gulfport organized the event. Witches of Gulfport, which has a group on Facebook, also organizes Halloween dress-up events. SIK Promotions owner Suzy King, runs the page and the group. King says she posted the Santa event on the Facebook page this year (the event took a hiatus in 2020.)
The idea exploded.
“It’s really a lot of fun and comradery; we never intended it to be an actual event. We just wanted to get dressed up,” King said. “The witches are the people that like to have fun; that’s our audience.”
The rampage began with a mischief of elves, cigarette-smoking Santa Claus impersonators, reindeer and even a neon green Grinch at the Historic Peninsula Inn.
The oversized crowd marched single file to the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, led by the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band, and then spread throughout city for the rest of the day.
“The inspiration is just to spread joy and love throughout the year,” said Tim Anderson, one of the Santas.
“‘Til next time,” King said.