Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival ends on high note - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival ends on high note

There was plenty of dancing on the last day of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival on Sunday. (Photo source: WLOX News) There was plenty of dancing on the last day of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival on Sunday. (Photo source: WLOX News)
The Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival was open for 36 days in its first year. (Photo source: WLOX News) The Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival was open for 36 days in its first year. (Photo source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival began Nov. 27 and on its last day Sunday, Shirley Sessions of Biloxi is seeing it for the first time.

“I think the harbor lights are absolutely gorgeous,” said Sessions, who brought her children and grandchildren from Connecticut. “I enjoyed it and I’m so glad we finally made it on the last night. I loved the Ferris wheel. It was bit breezy because it’s very cold tonight, but it was really worth coming down for. If I had come earlier, I would have come two or three times.”

Chris Vignes with the City of Gulfport says the festival attracted more than 40,000 people, despite bad weather.

“Weather is a factor in any event like this and we had only four days of bad weather,” Vignes said. “We really got lucky and feel really confident with the crowd, and the numbers that came in.”

Vignes says the city will now begin to assess the festival's performance and start planning for the 2016 holiday season. Although specific numbers are not yet available, Vignes says the event made enough money to cover all expenses.

Vendors say they also had a successful run.

“I would love to be able to come out and experience the event next  year,” said Narissa Behrens. “I’m extremely excited. We’ve had nothing but an amazing turnout, and just seeing the smiles on people’s faces has been breathtaking to me.”

Neely Hegan was visiting for the first time from Spanish Fort, Ala.

“It’s really pretty,” Hegan said. “And I really like how they incorporated all the sea life because we’re here at the beach and it’s kind of mixing with Christmas. It’s nice.”

And for Jennifer Blatz, the festival was a proven winner for her family.

“We came just after Christmas and my toddler danced all night long,” she said. “So this is our second time coming and she’ll probably dance all the way home.”

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