Press Releases

Most recent GeckoFest Press Releases:

  • 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.

  • Gecko Pub Crawl Kicks Off “Gecko Season” in Gulfport

    7th Annual Gecko Pub Crawl

    Gecko Pub Crawl Kicks Off “Gecko Season” in Gulfport

    Buy your tickets online at

    Contact: Biff Lagan (305) 923-1803 or

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA: The seventh annual Gecko Pub Crawl will be the first of three events that herald the opening of “Gecko Season” in Gulfport. The Pub Crawl will be held Saturday, August 9th, 5 to 9 pm.

    7th Annual Gecko Pub Crawl

    For $20.00, Pub Crawlers will be able to enjoy a beverage at six Gulfport locations, participating businesses are:

    1. Beach Haus

    2. Little Tommie’s Tiki

    3. Mangia Gourmet

    4. Neptune Grille

    5. O’Maddy’s

    6. Salty’s of Gulfport

    All are located within easy walking distance in the Gulfport Waterfront Arts District.

    Crawlers may start at any participating location and continue their Crawl in any order.

    An After-Party will be held at Salty’s from 9 to 10 pm and will feature awards, drawings and live music.

    Like last year, a Poker Run game of Five Card Stud will add to the evening’s festivities.

    Crawlers will be dealt a free card from a Crawl Ambassador at each location when they pick up their drink token. Up to three extra cards may also be purchased for $5.00 each at Salty’s at check in.

    The Grand Prize for best poker hand will be a two-night stay at the Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach!

    Raffle drawings will also be held during the After Party, with various prizes, including the chance to win a pair of coveted tickets to this year’s “Roaring Geckos” Gecko Ball!

    Participants for poker and raffle awards must be present to win.

    Tickets are available in advance from the Gulfport Beach Bazaar’s Box Office, located at 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, online at, and at all participating businesses during the Crawl!

    For more information, contactL

    Biff Lagan (305) 923-1803 or

    Additional information on any of Gulfport’s Gecko related festivities may be found at or

    The Gecko Ball on August 23rd and the Gecko Fest street festival on the 30th round out the growing slate of Gecko fun for the season, celebrating Gulfport’s favorite reptile!


  • “Roaring Geckos” Tickets Go On Sale July 4th

    June 16, 2014: For Immediate Release

    Contact: Richard Radovic; (727) 204-8101;

    Gecko Ball 2014

    GULFPORT, FLORIDA: Break out your best “Charleston” dance moves!

    Roaring Geckos” will be the theme of Gulfport’s Sixth Annual Gecko Ball.  The “Roaring Geckos” theme will evoke the Roaring Twenties, including its music, dancing, 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 Jazz Age, Louis Armstrong, Rudolph Valentino, swing music and big bands, Art Deco and many other touchstones of the 1920s era.

    The Gecko Ball will be held at the historic waterfront Gulfport Casino Ballroom (5500 Shore Boulevard South) from 6 until 11pm on Saturday, August 23rd. 

    The event gets larger and more popular each year, including over the top décor, cocktail specials, cash bar, hors d’oeuvre, a dinner buffet, commemorative photo booth, dozens of silent auction items, and the popular live auction of geckos created by local artists.  Once again, a new Gecko Queen will be crowned at the Ball as the Queen and Court are presented to assembled ball-goers.  Dress a la 1920’s or dress as a gecko, or combine the two!  A costume contest will determine some of the best outfits in the house.  (Costumes are encourages but are not mandatory.)

    Appearing live at this year’s Ball, the Z Street Speakeasy Band will offer dance-floor-ready tunes from the 20’s through today.  There will be many other surprises in store, creating what has become known as Gulfport’s Party of the Year!

    Tickets for Gecko Ball are $35 per person and will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 4th at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar’s “Bazaar Box Office,” 3115 Beach Boulevard South. 

    The line for tickets will begin forming as early as 7 a.m., so bring a lawn chair!  Tickets will continue to be available at the Beach Bazaar during regular store hours, as well as online with a credit or debit card at until the event sells out.

    The Gecko Ball sells out every year, so would-be Ball-goers are encouraged to purchase tickets as far in advance as possible.  While they last, tables of ten are available for group reservations only if all tickets for the table are purchased in person at the Beach Bazaar at one time.

    The Gecko Ball occurs one week prior to the annual GeckoFest street festival (August 30th), and each year the Ball’s theme also lends itself to costumes that GeckoFest participants are encouraged to wear and flaunt during the Fest’s walking parade.

    The annual Gecko Pub Crawl will be held August 9th this year, and a portion of proceeds from all three Gecko events will once again benefit a local non-profit group, as well as the commission of a public art installation.

    For more information and updates on the Gecko Ball, go to and “like” the Gecko Ball Facebook page:

    GeckoFest, Gecko Ball and Gecko Pub Crawl are all sponsored by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association

    Contact Richard Radovic ( or 727-204-8101) for details.

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