Gulfport offers sneak peek at Harbor Lights Winter Festival - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport offers sneak peek at Harbor Lights Winter Festival

Jones Park in Gulfport will be lit up for the holiday season from Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. (Photo source: WLOX News) Jones Park in Gulfport will be lit up for the holiday season from Nov. 27 through Jan. 3. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

It’s feeling like the holidays for many, and now it's looking and sounding like them as well, especially at Jones Park in Gulfport.

On Thursday night, the city offered a sneak peek of what’s to come with Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival, which starts Nov. 27 and goes through Jan. 3.

Officials say it took a while to put the festival together.

“We started planning this over a year ago and so we’re doing it to extend tourism, to enjoy the Christmas season and to let folks come down and understand what a special place this is," said Mayor Billy Hewes.

Officials also say it took a lot of money to set up the light displays. Island View Casino Resort stepped up with a long-term commitment.

“Five years, $2.5 million,” said Steve Greenfield of Island View Casino Resort. “We think it’s absolutely and fantastic investment not only in the city of Gulfport, but for the Mississippi Gulf Coast," noted Steve Greenfield, Island View Casino Resort.

It’s a project David D’Aquilla with Gulfport Leisure Services things will spread benefits all throughout the city.

“We’re working with Main Street,” he said. “We’ve got opportunities on the ticket for people to go downtown and enjoy the restaurants and vendors downtown," said D'Aquilla. "So, it’s just another season that we can bring people to Gulfport and give them another opportunity. There’s economic development and economic growth by having these types of activities this time of year.”

There will also be three holiday weekends with additional entertainment under the Barksdale Pavilion: Dec. 3-5; Dec. 10-12; and Dec. 17-19, concessions, a 65-foot observation wheel and Santa’s Village.

Attendees can park at Jones Park or catch the CTA shuttle at the parking garage on 21st Avenue.

Tickets for the festival are $5 a person; $20 per car and $40 a van, and the event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night. 

There will be additional charges for tour train and under the lights carriage rides as well as the Big Wheel ride and carousel.3

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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