GeckoFest History

HISTORY (a short version)…

We are often asked how Gecko Fest started.

The story isn’t exactly provacative but is very representative of the creative and collaborative people in the community of Gulfport. It started in the year 2001 with the End of Summer Celebration being assigned to Events Manager, Marlene Shaw. Upon being informed that the End of Summer Celebration consisted of a band and fireworks, Marlene recognized the need for “something more.” Naturally, being community-minded, she went to the people of Gulfport.

If one isn’t aware, Gulfport has an abundance of many wonderful, intelligent, talented, creative and artistic people. Things really started happening while Marlene and Frank Hibrandt of City of Imagination and local artist were brainstorming. Ideas were flying back and forth when Frank said “Gecko Fest.” Marlene lit up and immediately exclaimed “that’s it!”

Next, Marlene spoke with another local artist and historian with “Florida Frontiers Gazette,” Elizabeth Neily. Elizabeth interjected that we should consider a native species, but when Marlene took a “poll” at a Merchants Association meeting, it was a unanimous favorable response for Gecko Fest. That being the case, Elizabeth declared it the “Gecko Fest and Mullet Mutiny.” Thus, this popular festival was born.

Since the Gulfport Merchants Association played a part in GeckoFest’s humble creation, it is absolutely wonderful that they took over the organization and presentation of this delightful family event in 2004.

With thanks to the Gulfport Merchants Association, this event continues.

We hope to see you at this “fun for the whole family” event!