Ahoy, mateys! Anchor Fest is back

Ben Lofton Band will play at Anchor fest.
Ben Lofton Band will play at Anchor fest. Anchor Fest

The Gulfport Anchor Fest will celebrate the city’s coastal history with two days of free live music, family fun and maritime memorabilia this Saturday and Sunday at Jones Park at 805 20th Ave.

Laurie Toups, director of Gulfport Main Street and producer of the festival, said the event has multiple ties to the city’s history.

“It’s important for us to know where we came from and to see where we’re going in the future and to embrace our culture,” Toups said.

Historic wooden boats will be among vessels displayed on both days from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The exhibit will include catboats, schooners, luggers and modern luxury yachts.

More can be learned about the city through 50 or so historic photographs that are blown up to poster-size and will be displayed. While every picture tells its own story, there also will be historians present to elaborate on the history.

Toups said the exciting lineup is made up of music that shares a common thread of ‘”Gulfport boogie” blues. The term is the title of the Mississippi Blues Heritage Trail marker in Gulfport.

On Saturday, live entertainment will be Magnolia Bayou (11:30 a.m.), Gulfport Little Theatre (1:15), Ben Loftin & Friends (2:15), Michael Vincent Band (3:30) and Blackwater Brass (5:30).

Sunday’s music is The Chitlins (11:30), Mikey B3 (1:30), Voo Davis Band (3:30) and Wayne Sharp & the Sharpshooters with a special guest (5:30).

The festival’s many children’s activities will include a human foosball game, face painting and hands-on maritime education. Kids can make their own pirate hat, play at crab toss or help build a pirate ship. One family-fun event is a pirate costume contest that includes adult, children and family categories. It will take place on stage at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with prizes going to the top winner in each category.

There also will be a selection of arts and crafts and an array of local foods from area restaurants.

For the first time this year, after the close of scheduled events on Saturday, the grounds will host an adult movie night with a screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Jones Park is located on the beach at 805 20th Ave. Some of the events will take place in the neighboring Barksdale Pavilion and Gulfport Small Craft Harbor.

Hours are Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


Blackwater Brass

Mikey B3

The Chitlins

The Michael Vincent Band

Voo Davis Band

Wayne Sharp & the Sharpshooters

If you go

What: Gulfport Anchor Fest

Where: Jones Park at 805 20th Ave., just south of U.S. 90 and east of U.S. 49, Gulfport

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday

Saturday music lineup

Magnolia Bayou,11:30 a.m.

Gulfport Little Theatre, 1:15 p.m.

Ben Loftin & Friends, 2:15 p.m.

Michael Vincent Band, 3:30 p.m.

Blackwater Brass, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday music lineup

The Chitlins, 11:30 a.m.

Mikey B3, 1:30 p.m.

Voo Davis Band, 3:30 p.m.

Wayne Sharp & the Sharpshooters with a special guest, 5:30 p.m.