GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) -The City of Gulfport is pretty busy all year round prepping and planning The Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival.
Going on six years, roughly 40 acres of Jones Park are filled with lights, dancing trees, and more. Even though COVID-19 canceled or postponed many events, this show will go on but in a safe manner.
“Several nights during the year we may have six to eight thousand people in the park," said Gulfport City Council President Rusty Walker. "On those nights, we may end up having to sell time tickets to limit the number of entries to keep the count down.”
Walker said they will follow Gov. Tate Reeves' guidelines by ear to decide whether or not other rules should be implemented to ensure safety.
Even though the governor expired the statewide mask mandate, there’s still a possibility that another mandate could come into effect before the Harbor Lights. If so, masks will be enforced.
The light show generates thousands of dollars each year, and this year, the staff is encouraging people to purchase tickets beforehand online to avoid the close interaction waiting in line.
“People are dying to come and they’re writing us from all over the region," Walker said. "Asking us if we’re having it because they’ve made their Christmas plans around it in the past and they’re starting to make it a part of their Christmas tradition.”
As the tradition continues for the sixth year, you can expect everything from reindeer and giant lit ornaments.
“And we will have a few more lights and trees and a few more places for pictures," Walker said. "We have our great candy vendor. It will back with all the other food vendors.”
Walker said all vendors have their own separate safety guidelines that they will follow.
Tickets will be available starting Nov. 27 through Dec. 31.