Around 350 people chose the historic Gulfport Casino to welcome in the new year Sunday night in downtown Gulfport. Gulfport’s own Urban Gypsies were the house band for the event and had people out of their seats and on the dance floor early in the night. The yearly New Year’s Eve Gala is sponsored by the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce, which is currently in the process of merging with the Gulfport Merchants Association.
The event was slightly different this year, allowing patrons to bring their own food while providing a free champagne toast and dessert from LeAnn’s Cheesecakes in a Jar, which are available all over the Tampa Bay area.
“We wanted to make it cheaper so everyone could come and enjoy the evening,” said event organizer Linda Craig. They also had free all-you-can-eat popcorn for patrons, with Craig’s husband Bobby manning the popcorn maker all night.
There was also a raffle table with baskets full of prizes from local businesses in Gulfport, each over $1,000 each in value. Tickets sold for ten dollars each, with proceeds going to the chamber.