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Press Releases
Gulfport Merchants Association Announces Grant Recipients

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced its selection of recipients for 2017 Community Support Grants.  Two organizations were chosen to receive grants that will be funded by a portion of proceeds from the GMA’s slate of “Gecko Events” in late summer of 2017:  the Art Gecko Show on Friday, August 5th, the Gecko Crawl on Saturday, August 12th, the Gecko Ball on Saturday, August 26th, and GeckoFest on Saturday, September 2nd.  Grants will be awarded and amounts will be determined after the conclusion of all events.

The recipients chosen by the GMA Board of Directors are among non-profit organizations which are either based in Gulfport, or include Gulfport in their service area.  One of the 2017 grant recipients is the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund, providing funding for women’s health and medical needs not covered by insurance.  The other grant recipient is Creative Play Preschool which will use grant funding to create an “Edible School Yard” program, described as “an interactive outdoor learning lab” and “mini food forest.”

Grant recipients were chosen from among groups who applied earlier in the year.  Several other worthy organizations applied for grants and the decision-making process was difficult.  Grants or donations are offered to local non-profit groups each year following the conclusion of “Gecko Season.”  Public art installations in Gulfport’s Waterfront District have also been funded with Gecko Event proceeds in past years.  The GMA would like to thank all organizations which applied for grants this year for their very worthy contributions to our community.

Gulfport Merchants Award Grants

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Members of the Board of Directors of the Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) recently presented checks in the amount of $2,000 each to representatives of two local non-profit organizations, First Florida Frontiers and the Gulfport Historical Society. 

First Florida Frontiers plans to use grant funding to develop a series of public interpretive programs by living history performers and artists during local events depicting significant periods in the history of Gulfport.

The Gulfport Historical Society will use grant funding to create a “Gulfport Register of Historic Places,” including locating and designating historic properties, erecting signage and developing self-guided walking tours. 

Thank You for Your Application

Thank You for Your Application!

You will be hearing from us soon!

Call for Applicants for Gulfport Community Support Grants

For Immediate Release: October 10, 2016

Contact: Daniel Hodge; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; (727) 366-4086

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced a call for applicants for its 2017 community support grant program. 

Local non-profit organizations that target or include Gulfport in their activities are invited to apply.  Applicants must be certified tax-exempt non-profit organizations, government entities requesting funds for public purposes, or schools and colleges at any level.

For more details and to apply, download the GMS Community Support Application here

VOTE for Gulfport’s 2017 Gecko Ball Theme!

September 12: For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Hodge, (727) 366-4086; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Organizers of Gulfport’s annual Gecko Ball are encouraging the public to vote now on the theme of next year’s event. Saturday, August 26, 2017 will be the date of the Ninth Annual Gecko Ball, building on the tradition of this ever-popular event.  The Ball has taken on many other memorable themes in past years, including “Geckos in Wonderland!” (2010), “The Lizard of Oz!” (2011), “Hooray for Geckowood!” (2012), “Gecko Night Fever!” (2013), “Roaring Geckos!” (2014), “Gecko Gras!” (2015), and the theme of the most recent Ball, ”20,000 Geckos Under the Sea!”  Each theme inspires its own array of costumes, décor, drinks, food and music.

Event organizers have narrowed the choices to these three for public voting:

  • Cirque du Gecko! (a celebration of cirque and circus characters and pageantry)
  • Gecko Con! (a celebration of sci-fi stories and movies, superheroes, villains, comics and more as in “Comic Con” events)
  • Geckostock! (a celebration of Woodstock, hippies and the “peace and love” generation)

To vote for one of these themes, visit and send a private message to event organizers.  Public Facebook posts will not be counted as votes.  Or vote by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Please use only one method to vote and cast only one vote per person.  Voting will be held through October 7th. The theme with the majority of votes will be announced after votes are counted.

The chosen theme also extends to Gulfport’s other Gecko events celebrated at the end of summer each year, including the 2017 Gecko Art Show, Gecko Crawl and GeckoFest.  All Gecko events are sponsored by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association.  A portion of proceeds from events is offered to non-profit charitable causes each year.

Gecko Crawl Celebrates “Gecko Season” in Gulfport

June 25, 2016: For Immediate Release
Contact: Biff Lagan (305) 923-1803

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The ninth annual Gecko Crawl will help usher in “Gecko Season” in Gulfport with an opportunity to sample drinks at six locations, a poker run, and a festive afterparty in Gulfport’s colorful Waterfront District.

Gecko Crawl 2016

The Crawl will be held Saturday, August 13th from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the afterparty beginning at 9 p.m.

Gecko Crawlers will be able to enjoy a free beverage at these participating bars and restaurants:

  • Boca Bay Grille
  • Mangia Gourmet
  • Neptune Grille
  • Peninsula Inn
  • Salty’s
  • and Gulfport’s newest venue, Manatees on the Bay

All are located within easy walking distance along Beach and Shore Boulevards.

Gulfport’s Geckofest Volunteers Needed

-For Immediate Release-
June 11, 2016

Believe it or not, Gecko Season will soon be upon us and we need to start planning! As usual, an event as awesome as Geckofest cannot succeed without great volunteers. This year, Geckofest is September 3th.

This year we need to fill roughly 90 volunteer positions including:

  • Barricade Set-Up/Security
  • Vendor Set-Up
  • VIP Area Host
  • Pouring Beer

And many other positions!

Did you know that volunteering can further your career, build your network of professionals, strengthen your leadership skills, and help implement new ideas within our community? Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Signing up is easy! Just go to and follow the links to Geckofest.

For more information, please contact:

Mallory Marsico - 727-386-2702

Fun Finds for Fathers at Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk June 18

June 7, 2016

Gulfport, FL: Visit Gulfport Florida on Saturday, June 18, for Gulfport’s third Saturday Art & Gallery Walk, where you’ll likely find the perfect present and dining option for Dad! Find your Gulfport shopping and dining maps at and chart your course to the downtown waterfront!

Gulfport’s Historical Waterfront Arts District spans 6 city blocks that includes more than 35 unique and locally owned shops, businesses, boutiques, galleries, bars, and restaurants.

Gulfport gear makes a great gift! Stop by the Welcome Center and check out their exclusive line of everything Gulfport, from T-shirts and ball caps to coasters and license plates. 3101 Beach Blvd. S.

The Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk event, produced by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association, takes place from 6-10 p.m. every third Saturday – rain or shine, all year round, and is home to dozens of artisans and craftsmen each month.

Take Dad to the dinner of his choice at one of 18 delicious restaurants in the coastal beach town. Since Rand McNally’s 2011 “Best of the Road” competition, Gulfport has been known as one of the foremost dining destinations in the Tampa Bay area. Our diverse restaurant options offer distinct flavors for taste buds of all sorts and may require reservations or call ahead seating.

There is never an admission fee for visitors and complimentary parking is available nearby with courtesy trolley rides available to and from off-site parking areas. Gulfport events are always pet and family friendly. GPS – 3101 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707.

For general event information, follow us on Facebook or call 727-322-5217. Interested artisans and craftsmen can view the guidelines at, under the vendor info tab.

Gecko Ball Tickets Go On Sale July 4th

June 6, 2016: For Immediate Release

Contact: John Haugen; (727) 623-0524; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Tickets for the Eighth Annual Gecko Ball will be available beginning July 4th.


The Ball will be celebrated with a theme of “20,000 Geckos Under the Sea!” on Saturday, August 27th, 2016. Plan now for the event known as Gulfport’s party of the year!

The party will be a celebration of all things under, on and near the sea, as well as the classic 1954 film and the 1870 Jules Verne adventure novel. Décor and scenery will transport ball-goers into a vivid, colorful underwater tableau. Expect to experience over-the-top revelry and costumes, including sea creatures real and imagined, as well as a cast and crew of other salty characters. Ball-goers are encouraged to develop costumes relating to the film or book, to the sea, or to geckos, or any creative combination! A costume contest will help decide some of the best outfits at the Ball.

Call to Artists Announced for Creation of Geckos

April 12, 2016:  For Immediate Release
Contact: Jessica Sager; 727-608-0070; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

GULFPORT, FLORIDA:  Organizers of Gulfport’s 8th Annual Gecko Ball have announced a call to artists for the creation of their interpretation of a gecko. The live auction of artist-created geckos has become a much-anticipated tradition during each Gecko Ball. Seven artists will be chosen to create geckos for the Ball this year.  For the first time in Gecko Ball history, each artist will receive 25% of the proceeds from the auction of their gecko.  Additionally, each artist selected will receive two tickets to the Gecko Ball and will be acknowledged during the event.

The seven selected artists’ pieces will be unveiled at the Gecko Kickoff Opening Reception art exhibit on Friday, August 5, 2016, 6 p.m. until 8p.m. at the Catherine Hickman Theater lobby/gallery space in Gulfport. The artists chosen will also have an opportunity to have selections from their own bodies of work displayed during a curated exhibit at the Hickman Theater space throughout the month of August.  Following the opening reception, each artist’s gecko will be moved and displayed in a local business in Gulfport’s Waterfront District until the day of the Ball on Saturday, August 27th.

To be considered, artists are invited to submit a brief resume, photos of some of their work and/or links to online sources of information about themselves and their work.  It is necessary that artists predetermine and express a concept of the gecko that they would create if selected, including what types of materials will be incorporated.  Geckos may be created from any material(s), and may be a three-dimensional or sculptural piece, but no more than four feet in length. Use of a steel form from past years is no longer required.  Artists should clearly state that the gecko they create is either intended for indoor display only or suitable for display in outdoor weather conditions.  Artists are responsible for purchasing any materials needed to create their designs.  Selected artists must complete their geckos no later than July 8, 2016.

Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market Announces Summer Hours 

Date: 4/11/2016

For Immediate Release

GULFPORT, FL:  The Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market will be changing to summer hours starting with the May 3rd market.  Through September, the summer hours will be 9am-2pm. The Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market is one of the few markets that remains open all summer.

The Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market was established in February 2006 by the Gulfport Merchants Association and has grown from a small handful of vendors on one block of scenic Beach Blvd. to its present roster of over 70 vendors assembled across several blocks.

The focus of the Market is on unique and artisan goods, including as many locally-produced products as possible.  A wide variety of foods is available, including locally-grown and organic produce, fresh herbs, breads, cheese, desserts, candy, jams, sauces, local honey, olives, prepared foods and much more.  Hand-made bath and body products, flowers and pet products are another mainstay.  Local authors are often on hand and a master knife and tool sharpener on site will work on your knives as you shop.  Artists and crafters, many working as you watch, are always on hand to display and sell their hand-made work, including painting, jewelry, pottery, wood, photography and more.  Local musicians in two locations keep market-goers entertained with styles from rock and pop to jazz, island, and blues.

A current roster of weekly and occasional vendors is posted on the Fresh Market’s website at or visit the Market’s  Facebook page at

The Fresh Market also gives back to the community.  A food and personal needs collection basket for the Gulfport Senior Center Pantry is located at the Merchants Association tent each week.  Space is offered free of charge each week to non-profit groups to raise funds and awareness for their causes.  On the second Tuesday of each month, the Fresh Market sponsors a popular clothing swap to benefit CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse).  Participants bring in donated garments, and can select some to exchange.  Extra clothing and donations are contributed to CASA.

The Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market is open year-round.  Hours are 9am to 3pm every Tuesday (9am to 2pm during summer).  The Market is located in Gulfport’s historic Waterfront District on Beach Boulevard below 28th Avenue South which also offers a variety of independent shops, boutiques, galleries, its own beach and a large cluster of restaurants, all within easy walking distance.  The Fresh Market offers visitors the opportunity for a relaxing day trip in a small town full of “Old Florida” charms.  Parking in the village is free.

Call for Applicants for Gulfport Community Support Grants

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2016
Contact: Daniel Hodge; (727) 366-4086(727) 366-4086;
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced a call for applicants for its 2016/2017 community support grant program. 

Local non-profit organizations that target or include Gulfport in their activities are invited to apply. 

Applicants must be certified tax-exempt non-profit organizations, government entities requesting funds for public purposes, or schools and colleges at any level.

For more details and to apply, see the application available here

Gulfport’s Get Rescued, Bark-B-Que & Tails at Twilight


January 8, 2016

Who: Gulfport Merchant’s Association

What: Gulfport’s Get Rescued, Bark-B-Que & Tails at Twilight

When: February 27, 2016; 10am to 6pm & 7-10pm

Where: 3101 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport, FL 33707

GULFPORT, FL: Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the animal rescue festival and fundraiser, is preparing for its 12th annual event to take place on Saturday, February 27th, 2016.  This popular event has evolved from one block and a handful of animal rescue groups in its first year to a popular and festive event representing rescue groups from throughout the region. Gulfport's Get Rescued is one of the largest animal rescue events in the state, with all profits to benefit participating non-profit rescue groups.

New this year, The American Cancer Society will host a Bark for Life event from 7:30am-10:00am, to empower canine caregivers and their owners to contribute to the fight against cancer. For more information on forming a team for the Bark for Life event, call (800) 227-2345 or visit

From 10am to 6pm, animal rescue organizations, many appearing with adoptable pets, take over Beach Blvd. to raise money and awareness for their causes. Additionally, animal-related vendors, artists and crafters offer their wares to festival-goers. Pet Related activities will include an adoptable pet parade, pet care education, pet services, a pet food  and supplies drive, animal rescue groups, free samples, training demos, a Bark-B-Que, food, DJ music & more. Each year, thousands of attendees, many accompanied by their own critter companions, make their way to Gulfport to participate in what has become a beloved tradition. Well behaved pets and their leashed people are welcome! The daytime event is free for the public to attend, with plenty of free parking in and around the area.

Salty’s will celebrate its 3rd anniversary by hosting the 3rd annual Bark-B-Que from 11AM to 6 PM, or until sold out.  Hamburgers, hot dogs and “Doggie Daiquiris” are on the menu. A donation of $5.00 will get you a burger, a bag of chips and a soda, or two hotdogs, a bag of chips and a soda.  All-natural frozen treats for the pups will be available for $2.00.  We’ll have your sweet tooth covered as well, with a wide variety of goodies available at the Bake Sale and there will also be a “Pick-A-Prize” raffle with a wonderful selection of items from our very generous donors.  All proceeds will be going directly to Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the animal rescue festival and fundraiser. Bark-B-Que is sponsored by Salty’s, Stella’s Deli, O’Maddy’s and The Tampa Bay Adventures Meet Up group. Bring your fur-babies and check out Salty’s digs at 5413 Shore Blvd.

The Get Rescued evening celebration, Tails at Twilight, is a popular component of a full day of festivities that begin with Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the beloved annual street festival and fundraiser held on Beach Blvd. on the same day.  Later in the evening, after the pets have gone to bed, all are invited to a lively evening of fun for humans that will also donate to the important cause of animal rescues.  The evening will include dancing and live music, catered hors d’oeuvre, a cash bar, and festive décor will add to the party atmosphere.  Opportunity drawings will take place during the evening.  Proceeds from ticket sales, after expenses, will be donated to rescue groups participating in the evening event. Live and silent auctions will offer a chance to support participating non-profit rescue groups with a variety of auction items up for bids including travel, hotel stays, art, wine and food, pet accessories, restaurant gift certificates, an African Safari and much more.  Rescue groups solicit their own items and will receive 100% of proceeds from their auctions.  Tickets for the Get Rescued Evening Celebration are a $25 donation.  Advance tickets are recommended, however, a limited number of tickets may be available at the door on Saturday, February 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, 5500 Shore Blvd. South.  For more information on Tails at Twilight, or to purchase advance tickets, please visit or contact Lacey Glass by phone at (813) 495-9039 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Enthusiasts can become involved in Gulfport’s Get Rescued by sponsoring an individual animal rescue group for $75, which will include a prominent sign at that group’s Beach Blvd. booth during the event. Local businesses are also encouraged to donate items for live and silent auctions, with the proceeds being divided among the participating rescues.

Visitors and attendees are encouraged to bring donations of dog and cat food, cat litter and pet supplies.  Drop-off locations will be conveniently located on Beach Blvd at the intersections of 128th Ave S and Shore Blvd or at the Welcome Center at 3101 Beach Blvd. S. Donations prior to event day can also be dropped off at 5225 15th Ave S., Gulfport. Contributions will be distributed to participating rescues on the day of the event.

Gulfport’s Get Rescued is proudly hosted by the not-for-profit Gulfport Merchants Association, with 100% of the events net proceeds being donated to animal rescue. The event is co-sponsored by the City of Gulfport, Pet Supermarket, Pet Passages by Anderson McQueen, The Gabber, BeachLife, Paradise News, Olympus Printing,, GSH, Salty’s Gulfport, O’Maddy’s Bar & Grill, Stella’s Deli, Smokin’ J’s BBQ, Beach Bazaar, The Tampa Bay Adventurers and many more local community sponsors. To become a supporter, please call SIK Promotions, Inc., at (727) 322.5217.

For more information on Gulfport’s Get Rescued, visit, or or contact Suzanne King at 727-322-5217 / email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Pet friendly vendors and rescue groups can download the applications at under the vendor info tab. 3101 Beach Boulevard South Gulfport, FL 33707


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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

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Gulfport Geckofest

Geckofest 2009

Saturday, Labor Day Weeekend!

10:00 am until 10:00 pm

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