Correction, 7/6/21, 12:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated that the after-party would be at O’Maddy’s. The after-party will be at Salty’s Gulfport. The Gabber apologizes for the error.
The reptilian fun seems endless, but the Gabber has your to-do list for a complete Gecko Season itinerary this 2021.
First up, the Gecko Art Show, Friday, August 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Catherine Hickman Theater lobby, 5501 27th Ave. S. The show features 10 works by local artists displayed for a brief night and pre-bid, before settling in 10 Gulfport businesses before a final auction at Gecko Ball.
All proceeds go to local charities.
“I think people are excited because Gulfport loves Gecko World,” said chair of the Gecko festivities Brittney Sherley. “This year, the events are happening again finally, and it’s just a positive celebration in general.”
Gecko Crawl on Saturday, August 14 will unfold at drinking establishments along Gulfport’s Waterfront District from 4 to 9 p.m. with an after party at Salty’s at 9:30 p.m.
The sunset event is essentially a giant pub crawl poker game where crawlers wander to various Gulfport restaurants and bars – Caddy’s, Isabelle’s Restaurant, Neptune Grille and more – to imbibe and collect poker cards.
“Everything Gecko related is just a big celebration of a diverse, beautiful community,” Sherley said.
Gecko Ball will commence on Saturday, August 28 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. The colorful ball is essentially a giant costume party with the theme of American Bandstand this year.
“We are so excited, it’s the 20th anniversary this year and we’re doing everything bigger and better,” said Gulfport Merchants Chamber President Barbara Banno. “After everything we’ve been through, this is a celebration of Gulfport and our amazing community, not just GeckoFest.”
Of course, all the festivities lead up to just that: GeckoFest, on Saturday, September 4 in downtown Gulfport from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Gecko World finale features a street festival with live performers and vendors, and a Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band-led parade at midday.
“This is our largest end-of-summer festival,” said Justin Shea, Gulfport cultural facilities events supervisor. “It’s an exciting time.”
Aside from some minor changes, there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place for the events, said Shea. “We are mirroring how our county and state partners are handling this,” Shea said.
Find more at geckofest.com.