Gecko Fest

Published on: Aug 20 2014 by admin

There are several annual events and celebrations that take place in the state of Florida. Some are backed by theme parks such as Mickey’s Very Christmas at the Magic Kingdom. There’s the ever popular Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. Then there are more localized events such as Tampa Bay’s pirate themed Gaspirilla. There’s another little known, more recently started event called Gecko Fest and it takes place in Gulfport, FL.

Started back in 2001, Gecko Fest celebrates the end of summer. An end of the summer celebration was entrusted to Events Manager, Marlene Shaw. Wanting it to be more than simply music and fireworks, Marlene thought about the community of Gulfport and its creative and artistic residents. She banded together with Gulfport artists, notably Frank Hibrandt of City of Imagination and Geckofest was born from that meeting. She brought in a local historian and another local artist from the Florida Frontier Gazette, Elizabeth Neily. Neily liked the idea of going with the Gecko and took a poll at a Merchants Associations. The decision was unanimously accepted. Elizabeth declared the event Gecko Fest and Mullet Mutiny. The Merchants Association played another giant part in the history of Gecko Fest as they have taken over the organization and presentation of the event since 2004.

Gecko Fest has several events that occur. They start off with the pub crawl. The first event is the Gecko Pub Crawl. It includes one free drink at every location, a poker run and an after party. The tickets are 20 dollars per person and the pub crawl spans six locations. The locations are Beach Haus, Little Tommie’s Tiki, Mangia Gourmet, Neptune Grille, O’Maddy’s Salty’s of Gulfport. This all ends with an after party which will include awards, drawings and live music. The poker game has been Five Card Stud in the past, crawlers are dealt a card at each location when they pick up their drink token. You can purchase three extra cards for 5 dollars each at Salty’s. The Grand Prize for best poker hand will be a two night stay at the Sirata Beach Resort which is located on St. Pete Beach. The drawings will be for various prizes, including the “Roaring Gecko’s” Gecko Ball which will cover next!

Located at the Gulfport Casino Ballroom, the Gecko Ball features a dinner buffet, Live and Silent Auctions, live music, a costume contest and much more! This is the sixth annual ball, and has a “roaring twenties” them to it. Louis Armstrong, hair bobs, big bands and more cornerstones of 1920s culture will be in effect. There will be a gecko queen crowned. The live music will be provided by the Z Street Speakeasy Band. Costumes are encouraged but not mandatory. There’s a cash bar, cocktail specials, hors d’oeuvres, a commemorative photo booth and most of the items up for the auctions will be mostly provided by the local artists. The Gecko Ball tends to sell out. Tickets are merely 35 dollars so get yours today! Enjoy a few photos from past GeckoFest Celebrations:





Gecko Fest is a fantastic event. For full details make sure and check out their websites for dates and times.