Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival lights up at Jones Park - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival lights up at Jones Park

Gulfport's Harbor Lights Winter Festival had its big reveal on Friday. (Photo source: WLOX) Gulfport's Harbor Lights Winter Festival had its big reveal on Friday. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

It's the holiday season and there's a new attraction here on the Coast. Gulfport's Harbor Lights Winter Festival had its big reveal on Friday.

Anna Claire and her twin brothers Braxton and Brayden are some of the first people to experience the festival.

"I've seen sharks, whales, crabs and a lot of things with Santa Claus," said Anna Claire, 10. 

In addition to the lights, the festival features live entertainment, concessions and a 65 foot observation wheel.
 
Brayden says his reasoning for coming to the festival is simple. 

"Pretty much just to look at all these pretty lights and to play," said Brayden, 6.

And his twin Braxton is just as fascinated by the thousands of twinkling lights.

"The lights are so pretty," Braxton, 6, said. 

Their mom Renee Schoerner says it's great to have something like this local.

"It's important for the families to come out and celebrate with their families and make memories. And what better place to do it than the Coast," Schoerner said.  

That's exactly why the City of Gulfport decided to put this huge festival together.

"It's something for the entire Coast, all of south Mississippi. And we see it as expanding the tourism season into Christmas and beyond," said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes. 

Hewes says this was a long time in the making. He says he lucked out in getting a sponsor to make the vision a reality.

"We caught the Island View folks at a weak moment and they agreed to do the sponsorship over a five year period of time and this multi-million dollar lights display is the result," Hewes said. 

If you ask Anna Claire and her brothers, they are very pleased with the finished product.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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