Show Your Stuff at the Annual Gulfport Chili Cookoff on March 19

It’s time to polish your best tastebud-tingling chili recipe and sign up for your chance to win top honors at the annual Gulfport Chili Cookoff coming to the Historic Gulfport Casino on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Home cooks and professionals are invited to compete in this family friendly event for medals and cash prizes.

Officially titled The 2nd Annual Artsy Phartsy Chili Cookoff & Salsa Showoff, the spicy food & music fest is brought to Gulfport by the same dynamic duo that organized the local Industrial Strength Chili Cookoff for four years. Lynn and Amy, the chili cookoff team, expect this year’s turnout will be Gulfport’s greatest ever with up to 25 unique chili & salsa tasting set-ups. Percentage of event admission will support Gulfport’s local non-profit organization, Limbo Chihuahuas & Chihuahua Mix Rescue. We are also inviting any of Gulfport Artists to set up at the event- call us for details.

Cash and medals will be awarded to the winning chili and salsa cooks. The top prize is $100 for Best Chili and $100 for Best Salsa bragging rights. There will be a People’s Choice winner who will receive cash via popular vote. Contestants are asked to register early since space is limited to only 25 entries. Early registration is $25 per contestant until March 10, 2017 ($35 after March 10, 2017). Artistic Gulfport bohemian-style booth decorations are encouraged for extra points in judging.

This will be a hot, hot, hot — fun, fun, fun event that is all family friendly. Admission includes all the championship chili and savory salsa you can eat until it runs out! There will be lots of room for dancing to live music by a local dynamic band, TBA.

Cookoff details, registration and tickets are available online now. General admission tickets at the door will be $10 at for adults (age 12 & up) and $5 for kids.

Corporate sponsorships are also available. For information, call 727-289-9365 or visit the official website at www.GulfportChiliCookoff.com.

Sign Up Now for Gulfport’s City Wide Garage Sale

Gulfport residents, we know you got stuff!  Sign up for the permit free bi-annual City of Gulfport City Wide Yard Sale, scheduled for Saturday, March 18 (rain date, Sunday, March 19). Do not miss this incredible opportunity to have your Gulfport address on the brochure for added visibility for free. The City of Gulfport is now accepting addresses to be added to this year’s City Wide Yard Sale brochure.  Deadline to sign up is Friday, March 10th  in order to make print deadline. Please, one address per registration.
“How do I register?” you may ask.  The easiest way is to go to http://mygulfport.us/city-wide-yard-sale and fill out the web form and hit submit. Other options are to email Gail Biron at gbiron@mygulfport.us with your Gulfport address (You will receive confirmation via email). For those who do not have internet, you can also fill out a form at City Hall, 2401 53rd St. S. or the Gulfport Public Library, 5501 28th Ave. S.
For those who are unable to have their own yard sale (live in an apartment, condo or out of town), Most Holy Name’s expansive parking is conveniently located at 5800 15th Avenue South and will be listed of the city brochure. The lot offers two parking spaces per vehicle for only $10, cash only. Electricity or tables will not be provided. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged. Most Holy Name will offer hamburgers, hot dogs, water and soda for sale. All proceeds from space reservations and food sales benefit the church. To reserve your space, please call the parish office at 727-347-9989 or Chris McNally at 727-642-2280.
So it’s time for spring cleaning cash and to have fun at the same time!  Get your address on the brochure today! A kind and generous THANK YOU goes out the Gabber and Olympus Printing for co-sponsoring this community bi-annual event. For more information, please call Gail Biron at 727-893-1118.

Pink Flamingo Home Tour 2017

Do you love kitsch? If you do, don’t miss the annual Pink Flamingo Tour of Homes March 4th highlighting the best of eclectic Gulfport. The annual fundraiser for the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, its been a grand spring tradition since the 1990s.Each year, the Tour focuses on a different neighborhood to make it easy for walkers and bikers to enjoy the  community event.

This year, the tour begins with  registration at the Tomlinson Park, 55th and Tangerine Avenue in Gulfport. The tour is situated on a level route of less than 2 miles. There’s also trolley and bus service from 11 am to 5 pm and is provided free for those who are unable to walk the route. Guests walk at their own pace and may visit the homes in any order.  All visitors will be provided with a tour book containing a map, which will show the scheduled trolley stops and the homes open for viewing. In addition to the tour, some of the event sponsors offer specials in their ads for enjoying Gulfport fun before or after the tour.

The event organizers take great pride hunting for the right mix of homes and its a huge honor to be included in this whimsical home tour. Homes may be selected because they are very small, very large, very colorful, absolutely gorgeous, original, newly renovated or just “out there”. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful garden spaces and backyard retreats. Whether you are thinking of paving your backyard, creating a lush oasis with water features or raising chickens, you can see it all on the tour. With “tiny” homes being all the rage, there’s even one on the 2017 tour. For those who have always wanted to know what the Blueberry Patch is all about, this is your opportunity as it will be on the tour from 11 am to 5 pm.

Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 day of event. Tickets can be purchased online at www.pinkflamingohometour.com or in person at the Gulfport Welcome Center or Beach Bazaar, both of which are located in downtown Gulfport on Beach Blvd.

Article by Karen Love

For more information on the Pink Flamingo Home Tour, contact Karen Love at karenlovegfl@gmail.co or 770-497-1139.

Tiny Marta by Joseph Godinho – Sanctuary Tiny Homes Tiny Marta was inspired by one core belief: that beauty and simplicity can exist  simultaneously and in perfect harmony. With its open layout, soothing neutral  colors, clean stainless appliances and touches of wood to  connect you with nature, you will feel you are in a much larger home despite its mere 24 feet in length. Marta boasts one large sleeping loft surrounded by windows and outfitted with a full size bed custom shelving and storage solutions to keep life’s necessities organized and out of sight. The bathroom, accessible through a custom barn door contains a full shower stall, sink, composting toilet, and built in shelves to hold toiletries. Marta’s kitchen is truly one of a kind…offering tremendous cooking space, a stainless stove,  refrigerator, two burner cook top and full size sink. Every week some of us watch Tiny Houses on HGTV. “Could you actually live in one?” asks Patricia Dunham, a Gulfport-based business consultant with a true love for the Tiny house movement. You might ask, what’s the big attraction?  “People are realizing they’d prefer to spend time with loved ones, traveling, hobbies or on community  activities, rather than working to support a big house, high  utility bills, property taxes, insurance, a large rental or  mortgage payment and maintenance. Many know we have way too much stuff. e are  working to pay for things which, in many cases, we don’t use.

In addition to touring some of Gulfport’s wonderfully eclectic, funky homes, You will actually have the chance to tour a tiny house at the Pink Flamingo Home Tour on  Saturday, March 4, 11 am –  5 pm, sponsored by the Gulf-port Chamber of Commerce.” Be sure to stop in, say “Hello,” and tour the lovely, Tiny Marta, and “get some of your Tiny House questions answered.” For more, email or call info@sanctuarytinyhomes.com 407.865.2744 • www.sanctuarytinyhomes.com.

Adopt-an-Artist C.J. Cona Joins The Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk

Meet our Adopt-An-Artist, C.J. Cona, sponsored by Mangia Gourmet! C.J. is not only a fabulous artist, but teaches others how to hone their skills as well. Raised in New York, C.J. is a new Gulfport resident and is ready to share her sense of wonder with us all. She has two specialties: animal portraits using Swiss Crayon and found object assemblages. Come see C.J. and experience her spontaneity and energy.

On the first Friday of each month, you can visit Beach Boulevard in Gulfport for the fun and fantastic Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk! The event features art from several different perspectives. There are paintings, sculptures, photographs and even fanciful art created from upcycled items. That’s only part of what we exhibit. You can also find hand-crafted jewelry, self-designed and handmade clothing, accessories and bath & body products. There’s something for everyone!

When it comes to music, we’ve got you covered. There are several venues throughout the Waterfront District that host live bands, so you have your choice of who to listen to, or you can jump around and hear it all.

On top of all of that, downtown Gulfport features many unique shops, boutiques and galleries with charm you will only find here.  With over a dozen great restaurants, you are certain to find something that fits your taste, and it’s all within walking distance of all the evening’s festivities. Don’t miss out on your chance to eat at one of the foremost dining destinations in the Tampa Bay Area.

There is no charge for admission and complimentary parking is available nearby, with courtesy trolley rides available from off-site parking areas. Gulfport events are pet and family friendly. We can’t wait to see you there.

Vendor information can be found at SIKpromotions.com. For general information, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GulfportArtWalk, visit us at www.VisitGulfportFlorida.com or call 727-322-5217.

Who: Gulfport Merchants Association
What: Gulfport Art & Gallery Walk
When: Friday, February 3, 2017; 6PM to 10PM
Where: Near 3101 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL 33707
Admission Fee: none

ulfport’s Get Rescued: Adoptables, Critter Costumes & Doppelgangers

The animals are going to claim the streets of downtown Gulfport as their own for three big events. As part of the 13th Annual Gulfport’s Get Rescued event, these wonderful showcases are a must-see for any animal lover. 100% of the events net proceeds are donated back to animal rescue. It’s an event we can ALL get into!

Grab your doggie doppelgänger and head on over to Reef Dog at 11:00 AM for the pet/owner look-a-like contest. Did someone really say that, after a certain amount of time, we start to look like our pets, or they start to look like us? We’re soon to find out! Don your Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dog best and enter!

The Adoptable Pet Parade at 12:00 PM will showcase furry friends of all sizes, shapes and colors. Fetch your new best friend as you watch some of the most adorable and adoptable animals strut their stuff!

Leash up your pet for the critter costume contest and see how your pal stacks up to the pack for cuteness and creativity! If your fur baby loves the spotlight, this “claws-tume” contest at 1:00 PM is for them (and you!). The pet who gets the loudest barks and howls is the winner!

The event is hosted by the non-profit Gulfport Merchant’s Association on February 25, 2017, from 10am to 6pm. Located near 3101 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport, FL 33707, we are pet and family friendly with complimentary admission, parking and trolley rides. Visit us at Facebook.com/GetRescued for the most up to date information, or contact SIK Promotions, Inc., 727-322-5217/Suzfest@gmail.com

Volunteers Needed for Gulfport’s Get Rescued

The 13th Annual Gulfport’s Get Rescued, the animal rescue festival and fundraiser, is preparing for its event to take place on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 10am to 6pm. We have lots of volunteer positions to fill, including barricade set-up/security, vendor set-up, donation monitor, and other event duties.

Each year, thousands of attendees, many accompanied by their own furry companions, make their way to Gulfport to participate in what has become a beloved tradition. Please consider taking a few hours out of your day to help out at one of the largest animal rescue events in the state. Shifts are four hours and our furry friends will certainly appreciate it.

Sign up now by visiting www.sikvolunteers.com.
You can also email us at sikvolunteers@gmail.com.

The City of Gulfport MLK Day Registration is Now Open

An appropriate way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is through service and volunteering in our communities.  Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and economic opportunity for all.  He challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play.
On Saturday, January 14, 2017, Gulfport residents will step up to serve as volunteers at our Annual MLK “Day of Service.”
Volunteers will work at a variety of service projects throughout this area, joining hundreds of thousands of Americans across the United States.
The City of Gulfport’s Day of Service leverages the strength of our citizens, focusing on areas of need affecting members of our community.
Together we will be ready to get out and serve!
For more information, please contact 727-893-1118.

Opportunities for Giving in Gulfport this Holiday Season

operation-santaOperation Santa Helping needy children in Gulfport
For 25 years, Gulfport Police Department employees have sponsored a program called “Operation Santa” in which toys are donated to needy children that live in the City of Gulfport. Operation Santa has always been very successful in part due to the contributions we receive, we would again like to ask you for your help in the form of donations, i.e. monetary, new unwrapped toys, and gift cards. Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated. If you have any question call 727-893-1097 and leave a message and someone will return your call.

holiday-hooplaGulfport Senior Center Food Drive Helping needy seniors in Gulfport

 
Stop by the Senior Center at 5501 27th Ave. S. or Gulfport City Hall at 2401 53rd St. S. from November 18 – December 18 to drop off in date Non-perishables or donate $10 (in a sealed envelope with your name to pay for a senior holiday meal. See larger flyer.
Holiday Hoopla Donation baskets throughout for Seniors 
December 10, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Look for the special donation baskets created by Gulfport Teen Council.

Gulfport Chefs Table Donates Proceeds

Organizers of the first annual Gulfport Chef’s Table held October 10th recently presented a check for proceeds from the event to charitable recipient CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse).  Additional proceeds from the event were distributed to CASA at a later date for a total donation of $8,569.75.  Proceeds from the event were doubled by matching funds from the Sonia Raymund Foundation’s matching grant program.  CASA provides support and services for women, men and families living with or recovering from abuse.  The sold out event featured various 4-course prix fixe menus offered by eight participating Gulfport restaurants.

Restaurants participating were Backfin Blue Cafe, Boca Bay Grille, Isabelle’s at The Historic Peninsula Inn, Mangia Gourmet, Neptune Grill, O’Maddy’s Bar & Grille, Pia’s Trattoria, and Smokin’ J’s Real Texas BBQ. Tables were assembled end-to-end to accommodate diners, with décor assembled by each restaurant for its own section of seating with fine dining details including white tablecloths, china, glassware and full table service.

The event was sponsored by the participating Gulfport restaurants, the City of Gulfport, the Gulfport Merchants Association, J.J. Taylor, Olympus Printing, Republic National Distribution Company and Superior Auto Body.

gulfport-chefs-table

Pictured left to right are: Jonathan Summers (Pia’s), Pia Goff (Pia’s), Veronica Champion (Isabelle’s at Peninsula Inn), Daniel Hodge (Gulfport Merchants Association), Jill Johnson (Mangia Gourmet), Suzanne Horn (CASA), John Riesebeck (Smokin’ J’s BBQ), Mo Venouziou (CASA), Gail Biron (City of Gulfport) and Justin Shea (City of Gulfport).  (Photo courtesy of Scott Linde, Gulfport Merchants Association.)

Call for Applicants for Gulfport Community Support Grants

The Gulfport Merchants Association (GMA) has announced a call for applicants for its 2017 community support grant program.  Local non-profit organizations that target or include Gulfport in their activities are invited to apply.  Applicants must be certified tax-exempt non-profit organizations, government entities requesting funds for public purposes, or schools and colleges at any level.
gulfport-merchants-association
For more details and to apply, see the application atwww.GulfportMA.com.  Submission of an application does not guarantee funding and the Board of the GMA reserves the right to determine or adjust the amount awarded to any recipient.  Applications must be received in writing and must be postmarked or delivered no later than November 7, 2016.  Applications received after the deadline cannot be considered.  Decisions on recipients are scheduled to be announced by early this December.  A maximum of two organizations will be awarded grants for the 2017 cycle.
Special consideration will be given to organizations that are able to help promote and provide volunteers for the GMA events that raise the funds making these grants possible.  Events with funds earmarked each year for community giving include “Gecko Crawl,” “Gecko Ball” and the GeckoFest street festival.  Each event grows in size and popularity every year and each requires a large promotional effort and a large number of volunteers.  Grant amounts will be determined and funds distributed to grantees in the fall of 2017, after these GMA events have concluded.
Since sponsoring the community grants, the GMA has provided many thousands of dollars in funding to a large and growing roster of worthy non-profit organizations.  The GMA also gives back to the community in other ways during the year, including sponsoring “Gulfport’s Get Rescued” and “Tails at Twilight” each February, both benefitting animal rescue groups.  A monthly Clothing Swap benefitting CASA is held during the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market; and the GMA’s “Holiday Hoopla” helps collect donations for Operation Santa in December.  Public art installations have also been commissioned and installed with GMA funding.
For more information, contact Daniel Hodge at (727) 366-4086 or DHodge@GulfportMA.com.