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Press Releases
Longtime GMA President Michael McCue Receives "Spirit of Gulfport" Award

Longtime GMA President Michael McCue Receives "Spirit of Gulfport" Award
Photo courtesy of Cathy Salustri, The Gabber

Michael McCue (right) receives the ‘Spirit of Gulfport’ Award from Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson during the May 6th City Council meeting. 

Mr. McCue served as President of the Gulfport Merchants Association for many years.  He still serves on the GMA Board of Directors. 

The Award is presented on special occasions to recognize Gulfport citizens who have made significant achievements in giving back to the community.

 
Call to Artists for Annual Gecko Creations

April 29, 2014:  For Immediate Release
Call to Artists for Annual Gecko Creations
Contact: Daniel Hodge; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; (727) 366-4086

GULFPORT, FLORIDA:  Local artists are invited to submit a proposal for the creation of a larger-than-life gecko to be auctioned during the annual Gecko Ball on August 23rd. 

Artists selected will be supplied with a steel form in the shape of a gecko, either large (approximately 36 inches long by 18 inches wide) or small (approximately 24 inches long by 13 inches wide). 

Up to ten artists will be selected to participate this year. 

Each gecko may be embellished, re-shaped, formed and/or re-imagined in any form and using any media by the participating artist.  Except for the steel form, artists are responsible for purchasing any materials needed to create their designs.  Each artist selected will receive two tickets to the Gecko Ball and will be acknowledged during the event.

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Gulfport Merchants Association Announces 2014/2015 Board and Officers

April 8, 2014
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 Board of the non-profit 501c6 Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced the composition of its Board of Directors for the 2014/2015 term. 

Lori Rosso will serve as President of the Board, following several years of leadership by the previous Board President Mike McCue, Manager of Domain Home Accessories & Gallery

Ms. Rosso also previously served for several years as President of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce and remains on the Board of the Chamber as its Vice President.  

She is the owner and innkeeper of Sea Breeze Manor Bed & Breakfast Inn and is active in a number of local and national tourism organizations.

Mr. McCue will stay on as a member of the GMA Board. 

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New Co-Managers Selected for Gulfport Market

April 6, 2014: For Immediate Release
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 Board of the Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has selected Susan Blankenship and Chris Spencer as Co-Managers of the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. 

The Market, sponsored by GMA, is in its eighth year.  The appointment of the new Co-Managers follows the resignation of the previous Manager, Laura Garrison.

Susan is experienced in events management in Gulfport. 

She has been a member of the SIK Promotions team for over a year and has worked on other Gulfport events, including Art Walk, Gecko Fest, Spring Fest, Get Rescued as well as other large events elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area. 

Chris has most recently been a volunteer at SIK Promotions, and has gained volunteer experience in Gulfport events for the last few months. 

He has extensive prior experience in event organizing and management where he previously lived in South Haven, Michigan.  Both Susan and Chris are Gulfport locals.

The new Co-Managers will assume their leadership roles in the coming week. 

For further information, they can be reached at the new email address for the Fresh Market: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Sculpture Selected for Prominent Gulfport Public Art Location

April 1, 2014: 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


public art graphic 2014

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Artist Stephen Oliver has been selected as the winner of the Gulfport Merchants Association’s competition for a work of public art adjacent to the Gulfport Casino.

Oliver’s sculpture proposal, titled “Best Kept Secret,” reflects on Gulfport’s history and the spirits of diversity and creativity that characterize the City today.  According to Oliver, “it also celebrates the openness of a once-segregated community that continues to grow to accept everyone.”  The sculpture will be sited adjacent to the Gulfport Casino, an Art Deco styled public hall that is a Gulfport icon and has served as a community gathering place since the turn of the century.  The Casino was recently approved for addition to the list of National Historic Landmarks.

Oliver’s sculpture will consist of a metal boat situated in a raised position at eye level so that visitors can read the poetry cut into its port and starboard sides:

"To cross the gulf be our port of call
leaving a wake of peace and love for all"

"All hands together joined to row
make rainbows of gauntlet as they go"

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Thank You Laura Garrison!

The Board of the Gulfport Merchants Association would like to thank Laura Garrison for managing our Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market for the past year.

We appreciate her dedication to the task of coordinating this great event.

As we part ways, we would like all friends and colleagues of the market to be aware that the Market will continue as usual.

All vendors will remain in their usual spaces, and the Gulfport Merchants Association will have its information and assistance tent in the same location as always.

In the interim before we are able to determine a new manager, please feel free to contact the Market's previous manager, Daniel Hodge, for information and questions at 727-366-4086 or email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Thanks for your continued support of the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market, and the amazing town of Gulfport.

 
Marsha Warner receives the GMA Volunteer of the Year Award for 2013

For Immediate Release: January 6, 2014


GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Gulfport Merchants Association President Mike McCue (left) stands with volunteer and Tuesday Fresh Market Assistant Marsha Warner, who received the GMA Volunteer of the Year Award for 2013, recognizing her outstanding efforts during GMA-sponsored events throughout the year.  Other GMA volunteers were also honored during a reception held on January 6th

 
Public Votes for 2014 Gecko Ball “Roaring Geckos” Theme

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2013

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

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Organizers of Gulfport’s annual Gecko Ball have announced the results of public voting for the theme of the 2014 Gecko Ball: “Roaring Geckos.” 

The Sixth Annual Gecko Ball will be held next year on Saturday, August 23rd at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom.  The Gecko Ball is one of a trio of whimsical, celebratory Gecko-themed events in late summer each year, beginning with the Gecko Pub Crawl, and ending with Gecko Fest, Gulfport’s largest annual street festival held on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.  All events are sponsored by the Gulfport Merchants Association and a portion of proceeds from events are dedicated each year to various community charities and public art projects.  Other themes up for consideration during the online public vote were “Gecko Mardi Gras” and “Gecko Sock Hop.”

The “Roaring Geckos” theme will evoke the American Roaring Twenties, including its music, dance moves, hair styles, clothing and costumes, fads, movies and other popular culture.

Expect to experience costumes, music and décor celebrating flappers, hair bobs, Charlie Chaplin, The Great Gatsby, Guys and Dolls, the Charleston, the Jazz Age, Louis Armstrong, Rudolph Valentino, swing music and big bands, Art Deco and many other touchstones of the 1920s decade.  Gecko Ball-goers are encouraged to develop costumes relating to the theme.  A costume contest during the evening will help decide some of the best outfits in the house.  Each year, the Gecko Ball theme also lends itself to costumes that participants of the Gecko Fest street festival are encouraged to wear and flaunt during the Fest’s walking parade.

The Gecko Ball also includes hors d’oeuvre, dinner, cocktail specials, cash bar, music and dancing, silent auctions and a live auction of artist-created geckos. 

Tickets to Gecko Ball go on sale a few weeks prior to the event, and it is known to sell out every year.  To receive updates on Gecko Ball, including announcements of ticket sales and locations, visit and “like” the Facebook page for Gecko Ball at www.facebook.com/geckoball. 

Ticket sales announcements will also be published in local media. 

For more information, please contact Daniel Hodge at (727) 366-4086 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Gulfport Merchants Events Fund Pantry Donation

For Release: November 18, 2013

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

Gulfport Merchants Association Board (GMA) members Daniel Hodge (left) and Marsha Warner (center) present a donation to Rachel Cataldo, Gulfport Senior Center Coordinator, representing $6,000 worth of food and supplies to be donated to the Senior Center Pantry.

GULFPORT, FLORIDA:  Members of the Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) presented a donation valued at $6,000 to the Gulfport Senior Center Pantry this week. 

The funds will be used to purchase Sweetbay Supermarket gift cards for Pantry clients to purchase Thanksgiving family meals, as well as other needed Pantry supplies in the coming months.  Funds for the donation were raised during this year’s Gecko Pub Crawl, Gecko Ball and Gecko Fest, sponsored by the GMA.  Additional donations from 2013 Gecko events have funded the purchase of equipment for the Gulfport Little League, and will also fund the commission and installation of a planned public art project in the new year.

The Gulfport Senior Center Pantry serves local families in need that include one or more senior family member. 

The Pantry provides non-perishable food, toiletries and personal needs and other items as available.  Donations to the Pantry are always welcome and can be dropped off directly to the Senior Center (5501 27th Avenue South), or at the collection basket at the GMA information tent from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market (3007 Beach Boulevard South) each Tuesday. 

For more information about the Pantry, please contact Rachel Cataldo at (727) 893-1231.

 
Gulfport Merchants Association Funds Little League Equipment

For Release: November 18, 2013

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

Gulfport Merchants Association Funds Little League Equipment

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) Treasurer Biff Lagan (left) and President Mike McCue present equipment to the Gulfport Little League program on November 13, including baseballs, bats, helmets and more. 

The GMA donation was funded by proceeds from this year’s Gecko Pub Crawl, Gecko Ball and Gecko Fest events.  Donations to the Gulfport Senior Center Pantry, as well as the commission of a public art project, are also planned.

 
Gulfport Celebrates 20 Years of Art Walks

For Immediate Release: October 15, 2013
Contact: Daniel Hodge; (727) 366-4086; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
By Daniel Hodge

Gulfport Celebrates 20 Years of Art Walks

GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Gulfport will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its well-known Art Walk on Friday, November 1st. 

A forerunner of similar events that are now common throughout Tampa Bay, Gulfport’s Art Walk now takes place on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month, year-round from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.  Local and visiting artists and crafters line the sidewalks of scenic Beach Boulevard in Gulfport’s historic Waterfront District.  On the occasion of the 20th Anniversary Celebration, organizers will offer a display of Art Walk memorabilia, a birthday cake to share with visitors, drawings for prizes donated by local merchants, and awards to artists participating for the evening.  Gulfport City officials will be on hand to help commemorate the event.  Cake will be served and awards presented in a brief ceremony beginning at 7:30 p.m. in front of Mangia Gourmet (2930 Beach Boulevard South).

The Gulfport Merchants Association has announced a “Call for Artists” to participate in the 20th Anniversary Art Walk Celebration. 

A $200 “Best of Show” juried award will be presented during the evening.  Veteran Art Walk participants will also be recognized with awards in a variety of categories.  Artists interested in participating should contact Suzanne King by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as soon as possible.

The first Gulfport Art Walk, originally referred to as “Gallery Walk,” took place on the first Friday, November 5th, 1993. 

At that time, six recently-opened independent art galleries on a single block of Beach Boulevard banded together to draw attention to their burgeoning gallery scene.  An advertisement in the local newspaper announced the first Gallery Walk, and participants put out paper bag luminaries to direct visitors to the galleries, each of which offered refreshments.  The original participants were Sabal Palm Galleries (“tropical” and local art), Lynne Brown Fine Arts (Brown’s portraits and other art works), Troyka Art Gallery (Russian and European artifacts), Outta My Gourd (gourd and fiber art and basketry by Lisa Coopersmith), Kaleidoscope (stained glass work by Roger Turner), and Griffin Studio (paintings and pottery by Nan and Bill Griffin).

Gulfport’s Gallery Walk proved successful and drew increasing numbers of both locals and visitors to the first Friday event. 

As the event grew, a 1994 full-page feature by the St. Petersburg Times art critic highlighting the Gulfport art scene resulted in a “mob” of visitors that same evening, according to Turner.  Lines of people waited to get into galleries.  As Turner recalls, “We felt like we had arrived!”  By that time, additional galleries were opened, as others closed.  A year after its origin, the terms “Gallery Walk” and “Art Walk” were often used interchangeably.  Also at this time, gallery owners and locals began referring to the Waterfront District, particularly along Beach Boulevard, as the “Art Village.”  The third Saturday Art Walk, originally called the “Saturday Night Stroll,” was added to the calendar in 1999.  Now sponsored by the Gulfport Merchants Association, Art Walk expanded to include several blocks of outdoor exhibits by local and visiting artists several years ago. 

Gulfport’s status as an “Art Village” has remained attached through the years, although the number of galleries has ebbed and flowed over time. 

An insurgence of restaurants to the same area in recent years has created an equally strong identity as a dining hub.  Artists living and working in Gulfport continue to maintain a strong presence in the small, eclectic city, and a handful of galleries and retailers that include original art work in their mix add to the current Art Walk offerings.  The combination of art and artists indoors and out, a variety of dining choices, live entertainment venues, street performers, and the “Old Florida” charm of the Gulfport Waterfront District combine to create today’s lively Art Walk scene.  Free parking and free trolley service to and from offsite parking areas is available during each Art Walk.

The Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport (IACG) maintains quarters in Gulfport after a recent relocation to the “Alley of the Arts” off 29th Avenue South, near Beach Boulevard. 

Demonstrations and classes in hot glass-blowing and metal forging are offered at the IACG.  The nearby City of Imagination at Gulfport Arts Center (2726 54th Street South), offers a venue for classes, exhibits and performances in a variety of visual and other art forms.

The Gulfport Historical Society will continue the celebration of Art Walk’s 20th Anniversary by organizing memorabilia related to the history of Art Walk, artists in Gulfport and the growth of the “Art Village.” 

Items will be displayed during the evening of the Anniversary event and will continue to be displayed at the Gulfport Historical Museum (5301 28th Avenue South) through the month of November.  The Historical Society’s next monthly “Porch Party” on November 15th will focus on the history of Gulfport’s Art Walk, Artists and Galleries.  The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes a speaker, as well as a social hour and hors d’oeuvre, with visitors invited to bring food of their own to share, as well as their own beverages of choice.  Donations to the Society during their third Friday Porch Parties are encouraged.

For more information on the 20th Anniversary Art Walk Celebration, contact Daniel Hodge by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 727-366-4086.

 
Seven Gulfport Artists Create Geckos for Charity Auction

Seven Gulfport Artists Create Geckos for Charity Auction

GULFPORT, FL:

Seven larger-than-life steel geckos will be the centerpiece of a live auction to benefit local charities as well as a public art installation in Gulfport’s Waterfront District.

Each of the large steel geckos has been reimagined, manipulated and decorated in a variety of media by local artists.

The geckos are now on display in locations throughout the Gulfport Waterfront District until Friday, August 23rd and will be up for auction during the fifth annual Gecko Ball on Saturday, August 24th at the historic waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom (5500 Shore Blvd. South).

Doors for the event open at 6 p.m. and the party continues until 11 p.m.

Each gecko will be a prized collector’s art piece and will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Organizers initiated the Artists’ Gecko Auction four years ago with much success, and due to its popularity, the auction is now a part of the tradition of annual Gulfport Gecko-related activities in August and September.

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Gulfport Fresh Market Celebrates 7-Year Anniversary

February 4, 2013
For Immediate Release
Gulfport Fresh Market Celebrates 7-Year Anniversary
Contact: Daniel Hodge; (727) 366-4086; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


GULFPORT, FL: February marks the seven-year anniversary of the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market. The 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 60 vendors assembled across several blocks.  Customer traffic has also steadily increased over the years, and the Market now routinely has several hundred visitors on a typical day, numbering up to 3,000 visitors on high season days.

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Gulfport Art Walk

Gulfport Art Walk in beautiful Gulfport, Florida

Every First Friday and Third Saturday

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Tuesday Fresh Market

Tuesday Fresh Market in Gulfport Florida

Weekly, Year Round, Every Tuesday

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Gulfport Geckofest

Geckofest 2009

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