The Gulfport Merchants association presents the annual Holiday Hoopla on Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Beach Boulevard South.
GULFPORT - The Gulfport Merchants association presents the annual Holiday Hoopla on Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Beach Boulevard South. A portion of the proceeds benefits Operation Santa and Gulfport families in need.
Holiday Hoopla is a celebration of arts, crafts, foods, live music and roving holiday characters set in a waterfront atmosphere amid bright, twinkling, colorful lights. Stroll the decorated streets filled with talented exhibitors and unique shops and galleries.
New this year, organizers will offer a “Make and Take” craft area where visitors of all ages can make their own creative gifts with the help of local artists.
Various projects will be available, including wire and fabric sculpture, Magic Milk Sand Art, palm frond reindeer, holiday ornaments, leatherwork, glass blowing and glass sculpture, Para-cord jewelry and mask making. Additionally, gift wrapping will be available with all donations to benefit Save Our Strays, a Florida 501c3 organization.
Visitors will be enchanted by a variety of festive and fun holiday-themed music, holiday carolers, dance performances, and roving street performers. Many types of entertainment will perform during the Hoopla, from local school bands and choral groups and local musicians to area performing arts groups. Roving performers include Dickens characters and carolers.
The 27th annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade will begin at Gulfport Municipal Marina at approximately 6 p.m. It will then travel past the William's Pier in Gulfport and into the canals of Town Shores Condominiums and Pasadena Yacht Club Estates. Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club will be included on the route as well. The parade will cross the bay and pass by the club docks before returning to Boca Ciega Yacht Club.
During Holiday Hoopla donations will be collected for Operation Santa, new toys, gift cards, etc. The Gulfport Senior Center Foundation is collection nonperishable food, toiletries and pet supplies. Collection boxes will be located at the Casino Stage at the intersection of Beach and Shore Boulevards during the event. Drop off donations prior to the event at the Gulfport Police Department and the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce.