Press Releases

Most recent GeckoFest Press Releases:

  • In Search Of The 2015 Gecko Queen!

    May 18, 2015: For Immediate Release
    Contact: Faun Weaver; (727) 424-2219;

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Who wants to represent all that is Gecko Gulfport Fabulous and be the next Gecko Queen? 

    Gulfport’s third Gecko Queen will be crowned at this year’s Gecko Ball on Saturday, August 29th.  This is a gender-neutral opportunity for adults of any age, 21 and over; what’s important is that you can represent Gulfport with flair! The Queen’s costuming should reflect this year’s Mardi Gras theme, so candidates should consider if this is a theme with which they can work.  The Gecko Queen represents Gulfport throughout the year at events including GeckoFest and Gecko Crawl, St. Pete Pride Parade, Gulfport July 4th Parade and more.

    The Queen will be chosen from among interested candidates by members of the Gecko Ball Committee. 

    The deadline to express your interest is July 1st.  If interested please contact Faun Weaver, Gecko Queen Emeritus, at with a statement as to why you want to be the next Gecko Queen and include any photos or video that represent you and your Gulfportian attitude!

  • Call to Artists Announced for Creation of Geckos

    March 17, 2015:  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 committee producing Gulfport’s 7th Annual Gecko Ball has announced a call to artists for the creation of larger-than-life geckos to be auctioned during the event on August 29th. 

    The live auction of artist-created geckos has become a much-anticipated Gecko Ball tradition.  Seven artists will be chosen to create geckos for the Ball this year.

    Read More

  • Gulfport’s ‘Party of the Year’ Takes on Mardi Gras Theme

    March 10, 2015: For Immediate Release
    Contact: Daniel Hodge;; (727) 366-4086

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The Seventh Annual Gecko Ball will be celebrated with a “Gecko Gras” theme for 2015. 

    Plan now to attend this late summer event that is known to be the party of the year in Gulfport on Saturday, August 29th.  

    Mardi Gras will be the order of the evening, including its festivities and pageantry, high energy dancing, New Orleans-style music, food and more. 

    Expect to experience over-the-top revelry and costumes, including outrageous headdresses, glitter, a rainbow of make-up, wigs, feathers, masks, beads and baubles, kings and queens, clowns, jesters, geckos and a host of other fantasy-inspired creatures.  The Gulfport Casino Ballroom will be transformed with a kaleidoscope of colorful décor.  Ball-goers are encouraged to develop costumes relating to Mardi Gras, or geckos, or a creative combination of the two!  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 free street festival will flaunt during the festival’s own walking parade and costume contest.

    The Gecko Ball also includes hors d’oeuvre and tapas, cocktail specials and a cash bar.  Live music by the Jammin’ Jambalaya Band will fill the dance floor. 

    Hundreds of silent auction items will be up for bids, and a live auction of artist-created geckos will once again be a highlight of the evening.  Tickets to Gecko Ball go on sale a few weeks prior to the event.  The Ball is known to sell out every year.  To receive updates on Gecko Ball, including ticket sales announcements, visit and “like” the Facebook page for Gecko Ball at  

    The Gecko Ball is one of a trio of Gulfport’s end of summer Gecko-centric events. 

    Watch for more details about the Gecko Pub Crawl (Saturday, August 8th) and the Gecko Fest street festival (Saturday, September 5th). 

    For more information, please contact Daniel Hodge at (727) 366-4086 or email

  • GeckoFest Offers a Day of Entertainment on Stages and Streets

    August 12, 2014: For Immediate Release

    Contact: Daniel Hodge; (727) 366-4086;

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Gulfport’s 14th Annual Geckofest will bring entertainment to streets and stages during a daylong spectacle on Saturday, August 30th.

    Amid the thousands of festival-goers, hundreds of vendors and dozens of live musicians on two stages, expect to come face to face with acrobats, aerialists, break dancers, escape artists, magicians, jugglers, fire performers and more, creating an interactive circus atmosphere throughout the waterfront village. All festivities take place on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. GeckoFest is free and family-friendly.

    Each year, Gulfport celebrates the end of summer with its largest festival of the year, dedicated to the town’s unofficial mascot and favorite reptile.

    GeckoFest has grown to become one of Tampa Bay’s most anticipated events of the year. Live music, a kid’s activities area, and vendors throughout the village are all part of the fun. Strolling and stationary street performers are now also a hallmark of the GeckoFest tradition.

    This year’s street performers bring more fun and thrills to the streets than ever before, allowing visitors get close to the action.

    Many of the performances include interaction and audience participation with festival-goers of all ages.

    The Acromaniacs return with balancing, flipping and comedy shenanigans. Dallas and Nick are reprising their amazing feats of juggling and escape from bondage.

    New to GeckoFest, Sara Schmoo performs a variety of circus acts including fire eating, contortions and stilt dancing.

    Will Soto performs high wire stunts that are both thrilling and comical.

    A full slate of other circus and magic performers, costumed characters (including pirates and superheroes), balloon artists, living statues, dancers and more will be spread throughout the village, offering free entertainment for the whole family throughout the day.

    An amazing fire show by the Bohemian Fire troupe will cap off GeckoFest again this year, including fire dancing, fire juggling and fire on the high-wire lighting up the night, set to music from the 1920s through today.

    Live music on two stages will entertain the GeckoFest throngs again this year.

    Headliners include popular local favorites the Ries Brothers on the South Stage and Double M Band on the North Stage.

    Both headliners are well-known Florida favorites playing high-energy danceable pop music covers and originals.

    The famous GeckoFest street dance will close out a day of live music with a party in the streets.

    Other bands and musicians during the day and evening include Phillip Cole, the Fabulous Deltonas, Francesca, Joel and Dakota, the Paul Anthony Band, Jay Pritchard, the Rose Island Band, Sol Sessions, 3 Pint Harmony and the Trop Rock Junkies.

    A free kid’s zone will be dedicated to GeckoFest games and creative activities for children in Gulfport’s Art Village Courtyard from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

    Join the O-Fish-Al Gecko Goddess and other weird and fanciful creatures in a special Gecko Garden created just for the day’s events.

    Games will include the Great Gecko-Toes Freeze, the Musical Gecko Sprinkler, a Goofy Gecko Hole Toss, the Great Big Gecko Rock Eater, and Pool Noodle Geckos.

    Other free kid’s activities include Make Your Own Decko Gecko Hats, storytelling, face painting and a group drum circle.

    All craft materials are supplied.

    The kid’s area is sponsored by FAB Fiber, First Florida Frontiers and the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport.

    Over 200 vendors will line the streets of Gulfport’s waterfront village during the festival.

    This year, non-food and non-sponsor vendors have been limited to only independent artists and businesses offering hand-made or locally produced items. Purchases from these vendors will support only independent small and locally-owned businesses. Gulfport’s own independent shops and galleries also offer great one-of-kind treasures. A variety of street food vendors will also complement choices from over a dozen of Gulfport’s own great, independent restaurants. Two beer and wine vending areas will also be on hand for festival-goers.

    Colorful costumes are encouraged for all! Visitors may wish to don a gecko costume, or come as any other character they may imagine.

    The theme for this year’s Gecko events is “Roaring Geckos,” evoking the 1920’s, so costumes may incorporate the theme as well.

    Show off your costume or just your Gecko spirit by joining the traditional afternoon GeckoFest Walking Parade, led by Gulfport’s Mayor, and including the O-Fish-Al Gecko Goddess and the Gecko Queen and her Court.

    A costume contest following the parade will offer an opportunity to win prizes for some of the day’s best ensembles for adults and for kids.

    Parking for GeckoFest is free.

    Free shuttles also offer visitors an opportunity to park in off-site locations for transportation to and from their vehicle and the festival site.

    Click here for more information on GeckoFest directions and parking.

    Like the Facebook page at

    GeckoFest offers a fun-filled opportunity to explore Gulfport, a wonderful slice of “Old Florida” on one of its most colorful days of the year.

    GeckoFest is preceded each year by the Gecko Pub Crawl and Gecko Ball.

    All events are hosted by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association.

    This year’s GeckoFest is sponsored by the following supporters:

    • The City of Gulfport
    • Bright House Networks
    • Tampa Bay Times
    • tbt*
    • The Gabber
    • Cox Media (The Eagle 107.3 & WDUV 105.5)
    • GEICO
    • Yelp
    • WMNF
    • Radio Disney
    • Nestle/Zephyrhills
    • Resort Property Promotions,
    • Beachlife
    • Paradise News
    • The Lazy Pirate
    • Bath Planet of Tampa Bay
    • Smokin’ J’s BBQ
    • A & B Insurance
    • Lizard Juice
    • Metro PCS and Bluegreen Vacations.

    A portion of proceeds from all three Gecko events will once again benefit local non-profit groups as well as the commission of a public art installation in the Gulfport Waterfront District.

    This year’s charitable recipients will include the Gulfport Historical Society, the Gulfport Neighbors, the Community Law Program, and Gulf Coast Giving.

  • GeckoFest Volunteers Needed

    Contact: Chris Spencer; (727) 902-2326;

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA:  Dozens of volunteer opportunities are still available for GeckoFest this year on Saturday, August 30th.

    Gulfport’s largest street festival of the year attracts over 30,000 people and event organizers rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers to sustain its success.

    Volunteer shifts are typically two hours long and are available throughout the day from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.

    Positions are available for all ages and abilities from teens to seniors, whether you like to organize or sell, are active and energetic, need to sit down, are shy or a social butterfly, like a steady or a fast pace.

    Organizers will be happy to work will any interested individual to find a job to suit your interests and skills.

    Interested volunteers may contact Chris Spencer at 772-902-2326 or email

    A brief volunteer organizational meeting will be held on Monday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m. at Neptune Grill (5501 Shore Blvd. South in Gulfport).

    Volunteers are encouraged to attend if possible.

    Volunteering for GeckoFest is a great way to give back to the community, have fun and make friends.

    As a thank you, all volunteers will be able to purchase this year’s official GeckoFest t-shirt for 50% off.  T-shirts will be available at the August 25th volunteer meeting.

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