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Shop by the Bay...

Shop by the Bay...

A colorful collection of small, independent shops, boutiques and galleries in our walkable village, offering the kind of friendly service and unique items you won’t find in chains and malls.

Dine by the Bay...

Dine by the Bay...

Amazing choices from over a dozen restaurants within a few walkable village blocks. Choices in all price-ranges and a wide variety of cuisines, from Chicago hot dogs to fine French dining.

Play by the Bay...

Play by the Bay...

Events galore!: live music venues, weekly Fresh Markets, twice-monthly Art Walks, annual street festivals. There’s always something going on in Gulfport!

Stay by the Bay...

Stay by the Bay...

Our accommodations are charming, quaint and individualized to your needs. No chains, just gracious hospitality from your small-town hosts.

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Shop, Dine, Stay, and Play by the Bay



Visit Gulfport Florida

Visit Gulfport Florida
Brought to you by the Gulfport Mechants Association

For more Gulfport information, check out:

www.VisitGulfportFlorida.com


"Our Village is Your Village"

Regular Upcoming events:

Fresh Market: Tuesdays
Every Tuesday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk
First Friday monthly, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Third Saturday Art Walk
Third Saturday monthly, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Dancing Throughout the Week!
Swing, Ballroom, Tango, Latin
at Historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom

Live Music
Over 10 live entertainment venues in our Waterfront Village

SHOP, DINE, STAY & PLAY BY THE BAY

Gulfport Merchants Association
Seven Local Artists Create Geckos for Charity Auction

Contact:  Jessica Sager;  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

GULFPORT, FL: Seven larger-than-life geckos will be the centerpiece of a live auction to benefit local charities. The geckos will be visualized and created according to each artist’s individual concept. All seven geckos can be seen for the first time at the Third Annual Art Gecko Show during an opening reception on Friday, August 4th at the Catherine Hickman Theater (5501 27th Avenue South) from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The show will also feature selections from the participating artist’s regular body of work in a variety of media. The reception is free and open to the public and will also include complimentary hors d’oeuvre and a cash bar. The selection of artists’ other work will continue to be displayed through the month of August, but following the reception, the geckos themselves will be moved to preview locations in venues throughout Gulfport’s Waterfront village. The geckos will then go up for auction at the Ninth Annual Gecko Ball on Saturday, August 26th at the historic Gulfport Casino Ballroom.

Each gecko will be a prized collector’s art work and join the ranks of nearly 70 other geckos that have been created since the inception of the Gecko Ball. Organizers initiated the Artists’ Gecko Auction eight years ago with much success and the auction is now a popular part of the tradition of annual Gulfport Gecko-related activities in late summer. The Art Gecko Show was conceived in 2015 to highlight and show appreciation for the participating artists.

Artists selected to create geckos for this year’s auction are Joan Allen, Eric Folsom, Brenda McMahon, Lenne Nicklaus-Ball, Owen Pach, Tom Pitzen and Monika Watson. Following the opening reception, the seven geckos will be moved and displayed at various public locations in Gulfport to be announced during the reception.

The annual Gecko Ball has become known as Gulfport’s party of the year! This year’s theme is “Geckostock,” celebrating all things 1960s, including hippies, pop culture figures, trends and fads, and of course the famed 1969 Woodstock Festival. Costumes, décor and scenery will transport Ball-goers into a mod/psychedelic other world. In addition to the live auction of the artist’s geckos, the event includes dozens of silent auction items, costume contests, annual coronation of the Gecko Queen, catered tapas, cash bar, live music by the Throwback Band, dancing and more. The Gecko Ball will be held at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom (5500 Shore Blvd.). Tickets are $35 each and are available in advance beginning July 4th at Gulfport Beach Bazaar (3115 Beach Blvd.), Gulfport Welcome Center (3101 Beach Blvd.) or online with a credit or debit card at VisitGulfportFlorida.com. A portion of proceeds from Gecko Ball, as well as Gulfport’s Gecko Pub Crawl (August 12th) and GeckoFest (September 2nd) will fund a learning garden at Creative Play Preschool, and medical expenses for women not covered by insurance through the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund.

Artists from Gulfport or with ties to Gulfport have volunteered their time and talent to create a gecko for this year’s auction.

Joan Allen has lived in Gulfport since 2002. She has acquired a varied resume in locations around the country, including rural stay-at-home mom, graphic artist, envelope-stuffer, coffee shop proprietor and historic hotel manager. She is also self-taught in the craft of quilting. After discovering oven-cured clay, she eventually combined this with her talent for needle and fabric work to develop a line of highly imaginative “art dolls,” made with detailed clay appendages, bodies of assorted fabrics, and inventive hair and accessories. She has created a wide variety of the dolls over the years and they have been extensively collected. She also works in the medium of encaustic painting.

A long-time resident and native of Gulfport, Eric Folsom moved from the area in the 1970s to pursue his study of art, becoming an apprentice to George Anderson in Sperryville, Virginia. He became proficient in the techniques of brazing and fabrication of bronze and copper into jewelry and sculptural forms. He has pursued his craft for over 40 years. His work is available locally at Domain & Gallery and Florida CraftArt.

Gulfport resident Brenda McMahon has worked as a professional clay artist for over 20 years. Born, raised and educated in New York, she actually came to draw much of her inspiration from the natural beauty of sea and shore. She sells her work at art shows around the country, including St. Petersburg’s Mainsail Art Festival, earning many honors and awards, and teaches workshops nationally and internationally. She is also an accomplished yogi, and combines her love of nature, clay and yoga as much as possible.

Participating as one of the “gecko artists” for the past four years, Lenne Nicklaus-Ball has exhibited in mixed media, three dimensional assemblages and neon abstracts are displayed in many public and private collections on three continents. In addition to work on several commissions for corporate offices, she is one of few artists who have sold giclée limited prints on HSN. She has had over nine museum and art center exhibits, and several public art installations in the last decade.

Owen Pach was an established woodworking artist at the age of 30 in Ybor City when he discovered his passion for glass art. His work is included in numerous private and public art collections, including public installations in Gulfport, and he has inspired many of his students over the years to pursue their own glass passions. He originated the gecko art auction event in 2010. In addition to blown glass, he also works extensively in metal, stone and wood.

Tom Pitzen was educated in art and design and went on to open a custom wood shop in Ohio, offering custom cabinetry, furniture and displays. Many of his pieces for the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio travelled with exhibits throughout North America. He and his family now live and work in Gulfport. His large-scale public art installations in Gulfport, incorporating mosaics and mixed media, have become familiar sights throughout the City, including the entrance to Gulfport’s Waterfront District and the Gulfport Neighborhood Center. His art studio is in Gulfport’s Alley of the Arts.

Gulfport resident Monika Watson was born in Austria and moved to Paris in her twenties to study art and work as a commercial artist. Her unique style involves hand-made jewel-like clay pieces applied to her painted backgrounds, forming combinations of texture and color that depict seascapes, birds, villages and other scenes. Her work has been collected extensively by patrons from around the world.

All Gecko events are sponsored by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association and a portion of proceeds benefits one or more local charities each year. For more information on the Gecko Ball go to www.visitgulfportflorida.com, www.geckofest.com or www.facebook.com/geckoball, or contact John Haugen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
GULFPORT WELCOMES YOU!

SHOP, DINE, STAY & PLAY BY THE BAY… 

We’ve been called funky, eclectic, artsy, charming, progressive, welcoming, warm, and yes, even weird.

We’ve been called funky, eclectic, artsy, charming, progressive, welcoming, warm, and yes, even weird. 

We are a small town, but we have a big heart.  It’s easy to make yourself at home here.  Visit us and we think you’ll agree.

All of the businesses in our waterfront village are independently owned and operated.

All of the businesses in our waterfront village are independently owned and operated. 

No chain stores here. No parking meters.  Just small-town warmth and people as friendly and welcoming as they come.  Our village offers the best of “Old Florida” charm.  Picture old oaks draped in Spanish moss, brick-paved streets, small colorful cottages, and light shimmering on the Bay.

Picture old oaks draped in Spanish moss, brick-paved streets, small colorful cottages, and light shimmering on the Bay.

Beach and Shore Boulevards are at the heart of our historic downtown area, situated on scenic Boca Ciega Bay.

Unique, independent shops and boutiques offer the work of local artists as well as apparel, books, gifts, home décor, antiques, bath, body and wellness products and much more.  Many choices are available to pamper yourself while you visit: spas, salons, skin care, massage therapy and more are available. 

Isabelle's at the Peninsula Inn

A concentration of more than a dozen restaurants in the village has made Gulfport a premier dining destination. 

A wide variety of foods in all price ranges is represented within just a few blocks, from sandwiches and burgers to fine dining.  Live entertainment is featured in several locations throughout the week.

Sea Breeze Manor Bed and Breakfast

Overnight accommodations in the village are also of the unique variety, offered by two independent venues with great attention to Gulfport-style hospitality. 

Individually furnished rooms and suites are offered with their own identity, such as the Marrakech or Serengeti at the Peninsula Inn, and the Jamaica or Aruba at the Sea Breeze Manor.  Some locals also offer cottages or guest apartments for rent on an independent basis.

There’s always something going on here.

There’s always something going on here. 

Visit a selection of artists and crafters, from breathtaking to funky, on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month for our popular Art Walk. Beach Boulevard’s trees are lit up, shops and restaurants are open late, visitors and locals mingle on the street, and that “only-in-Gulfport” energy ebbs high. 

Our Tuesday Fresh Market days happen each week throughout the year

Our Tuesday Fresh Market days happen each week throughout the year, offering fresh fruits and veggies, breads, cheese, seafood, honey, plants and more of the best of what local vendors have to offer. 

It’s a chance to find food for your body and community spirit for your soul.  Special events throughout the year offer a chance to celebrate and mingle:  our Get Rescued event is an animal rescue street festival in our very dog-loving town; Spring Fest celebrates the change of seasons; the Pink Flamingo home tour unlocks surprises in a selection of local homes; the July 4th Celebration is a homespun event that surprises with its world-class fireworks display; and Gecko Fest is the grand-daddy of our festivals, luring thousands of visitors to Beach Blvd. to celebrate the end of summer in a fun-loving salute to our favorite lizard.  (Remember the weird part?)  Sprinkle liberally with smaller events: open mike night at the Art Village Courtyard, Swing dance night at the Casino, first Friday drum circles and more.  Add your own energy to the mix.

Gulfport is a beach town.

Gulfport is a beach town. 

Our beach, overlooking Boca Ciega Bay, features white sand and calm waters.  Picnicking, volleyball, kid’s areas, bocce ball and more are favorite pastimes here. 

Williams Pier is a favored fishing spot

Williams Pier is a favored fishing spot. 

Our Clam Bayou Nature Park is a living/breathing estuary full of bird, marine and plant life, and is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Visit Clam Bayou by canoe or kayak, or stroll along walking paths and overlooks.  The simple fun of a stroll through Gulfport’s brick-paved streets is one of the best ways to enjoy the local color of cottages, gardens and people.  Our historic Casino, on the waterfront, offers events and dancing most every night of the week, and is available for your event.  Catherine Hickman Theater hosts popular local and touring productions of plays, musical performances and more. 

Gulfport is conveniently located to many other destinations in the area.

Gulfport is conveniently located to many other destinations in the area. 

Gulf Beaches and downtown St. Petersburg are minutes away.  You can travel to Tampa, Ybor City and Busch Gardens in a half-hour, and a drive to or from Orlando is about two hours.




The Gulfport Merchants Association proudly represents local businesses, non-profits and other groups in the Waterfront District. 

We meet on the first Monday of each month at locations throughout town.  If you are a business owner or think you might like to open for business in Gulfport, let us know.  We will be here to support you.

Beach and Shore Boulevards are at the heart of our historic downtown area, situated on scenic Boca Ciega Bay.

Come here tired and get revived. 

Come here scorned and be accepted. 

Come here misunderstood and find others like you. 

Come here rushed and get laid-back. 

Come here alone and make friends. 

Come here happy and stay here happy.

 

Gulfport Art Walk

Gulfport Art Walk in beautiful Gulfport, Florida

Every First Friday and Third Saturday

6:00 pm until 10:00 pm

Click here for more information...>>

Tuesday Fresh Market

Tuesday Fresh Market in Gulfport Florida

Weekly, Year Round, Every Tuesday

9:00 am until 3:00 pm

Click here for more information...>>

Gulfport Geckofest

Geckofest 2009

Saturday, Labor Day Weeekend!

10:00 am until 10:00 pm

Click here for more information...>>