Saturday, August 29 would have marked Gecko Ball’s 12th anniversary. While the event, like so much else, was canceled, the spirit of GeckoFest lives on.
“This year is about the recovery and the resiliency of the community,” said Gecko Ball Chair Brittney Sherley. “A lot of people are really upset about it being canceled, but I haven’t been as emotionally impacted by not having it as some people, because, I know that it’s not going to be lost. I know that this event is such a strong part of the culture here in Gulfport that I’m not worried about. Next year when we are able to host it, it will be wonderful.”
In lieu of a fancy gathering, two of Gulfport’s Gecko Queens decided the day should still be celebrated.
On Saturday, incumbent Gecko Queen Jody Robinson and 2018 emeritus Gecko Queen Jon Ziegler brought it back to where it all started, the Historic Peninsula Inn in Gulfport, which hosted the early balls. Queens Ziegler and Robinson invited all who were interested for a drink or two as the crew reminisced on Gecko Balls past.
“I can’t be upset about GeckoBall being canceled,” said Ziegler. “Yeah I’m sad, but not really sad. You have to think of the welfare of others and our community. Human life is kind of an important thing.”
“Gecko Ball represents our community, it’s not just about the party, it’s about Gulfport and I think that’s why people love it so much,” said Sherley. “I’m just looking forward to next year more than anything.”