We are excited to share that we have a new contracted team member here at the Gulfport Merchants Chamber of Commerce.
Sarah Laracuente of Sail Marketing LLC is now working with the Gulfport Merchants Chamber to help spread the word about our mission and members.
One of the tasks where you’re likely to run into her is her planned “pop ins”. Done by random drawing, Sarah will be popping by brick and mortar businesses to take photos and share on our social media. If you don’t have a brick and mortar, she’ll look up your website and post information when your business is drawn.
“Photography is everything when it comes to social media content for locally owned businesses and artists. We want to make sure to help tell our members stories as authentically as possible which is why we need to be there in person! I’m looking forward to meeting all of the members” -Sarah Laracuente
Speaking of social media, make sure to tag us on your Instagram stories at @VisitGulfportFL and add us as co-hosts of your events on Facebook. We will repost (one per day) and help spread the word with our network.
A Ray Domingo original. That’s how one City official described the more-than-$30,000 giant statue of a skateboarding, ear-phone-wearing, green gecko.
Domingo, a Gulfport artist whose sleek aquatic murals and paintings sell for upwards of $50,000, approached the City of Gulfport and other art supporters about creating a piece that would speak to Gulfport’s eclectic side and give Gulfport a new landmark and selfie spot. His pitch: a sculpture of a giant gecko, riding a skateboard and listening to music. The City agreed to kick in half the cost of the sculpture plus the cost of the base, if Domingo could raise the rest of the monies needed. He did, and the jolly green gecko is almost ready for its unveiling at – where else? – GeckoFest 2022.
The statue costs less than many of Domingo’s works.
“It’s a work of love from Ray,” his wife, Linda Domingo, told The Gabber. “He loves Gulfport and all it represents.”
A man putting epoxy on a giant skateboarding gecko
The epoxy stage of life for G. Gordon McFly (left).
The new, casino-adjacent sculpture will stand 14’ tall. He’s flanked on one side by a much smaller statue of Morris the Cat. No, not the cat food cat – this statue’s an homage to a beloved beach cat who died decades ago. Some say Morris’ spirit never left the area and his ghost sometimes makes itself known along the beach.
The Gecko Parade, a walking parade that starts by the Caddy’s stage, then loops Beach Boulevard, starts at 6:10 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 3, will end at the statue. The grand unveiling will take place immediately following the parade, which should happen around 6:45 p.m., according to Justin Shea, Gulfport’s cultural events facilities supervisor.
The gecko’s full name is G. Gordon McFly. What does the G stand for?
“Why,” Domingo says, “it’s Gulfport, silly.”
by Cathy Salustri
His name? G. Gordon McFly.
The city of Gulfport unveiled a beautiful new statue over Labor Day Weekend in one of the most on-brand ways possible for the beloved quirky and eclectic town. G. Gordon McFly is a 14-foot-tall skateboarding gecko now welcoming locals and visitors alike to embrace the spirit of Gulfport.
The statue was unveiled as part of the festivities for the 22nd-Annual Gulfport Geckofest, complete with a dramatic debut just before sunset at the culmination of the Geckofest parade. The brightly-painted sculpture is located right on the sand at the south end of Beach Boulevard, next to the historic Gulfport Casino.
G. Gordon McFly is the creation of celebrated Gulfport artist Ray Domingo. Gulfport newspaper The Gabber reports that Domingo first pitched the idea to the city by proposing the creation of “a piece that would speak to Gulfport’s eclectic side and give Gulfport a new landmark and selfie spot.”
Selfies will certainly be in abundance for the giant skateboard-riding Gecko (complete with a headset, presumably tuned in to something chill). The project was possible, The Gabber said, as a result of the city covering half the cost of the sculpture, while Domingo was able to raise enough funds on his own to make up the rest of the cost.
The statue is a fitting addition for a city already replete with art and personality. The blossoming community is also becoming quite the food and drink destination, as several new(er) additions have popped up alongside long-time staples like Pia’s and O’Maddy’s. If you haven’t yet checked out Gulfport Brewery + Eatery or the Dog Pier Hot Dog Shop, add both to you list after your gecko selfie.
Published by: Bob Carskadon in Do It
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Gecko Season will be here soon and we want your help to choose a theme for the 2023 festivities. We've created the Gecko World Theme Survey so you can select your favorite(s) from our ideas. Come on and join in the fun now in preparation for next year's celebration!