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Third-annual Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival starts Friday and runs through Dec. 31

The lights shine in Jones Park for the very first night of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival on Friday, November 27, 2015. Sponsor Island View Casino Resort agreed to spend $2.5 million on the show over five years. The show will run nightly through Jan. 3.
The lights shine in Jones Park for the very first night of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival on Friday, November 27, 2015. Sponsor Island View Casino Resort agreed to spend $2.5 million on the show over five years. The show will run nightly through Jan. 3. Sun Herald File

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and it will soon be beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

That’s especially true at Gulfport’s Jones Park, U.S. 49 and U.S. 90, where the third annual Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Shows will be nightly with gates open 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and shows ending nightly at 10:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 per person. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. Also, for $80 12 visitors can be admitted for the price of eight.

The harbor-front light show, which will be featured in a Lifetime Christmas movie titled “Christmas in Mississippi” slated to debut Dec. 9, will be open nightly through Dec. 31, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, featuring rides and live entertainment each night.

The event will feature a Santa’s Village under the Barksdale Pavillion every night 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. starting Friday and running through Dec. 23.

There will be plenty of Christmas music to keep you in the holiday mood, as well, and a Coast Transit Authority Trolley will be available for no extra charge to visitors who do not want to walk through the park.

There also will be hot chocolate and marshmallow concessions.

Rides are set up through the event and tickets are $1 each. Rides include Santa’s Big Wheel (four tickets), Carousel (three tickets), Trackless Tour Train (four tickets), Skyracer (three tickets), Santa Express Barksdale Train (three tickets), Santa Express Pedal Train (two tickets) and Thomas the Train Kiddie Train (one ticket).

The event is sponsored by the City of Gulfport and Island View Casino Resort with additional support by Coast Transit Authority.

Live Entertainment Schedule

Friday, Dec. 1: Big Fun Brass Band, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 2: David Knorr Trio, 7-10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8: 1 Accord, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 9: Jess Dance, 7-9 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 15: Coast Big Band, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 16: The Moon Dogs, 7-10 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 17: Davis & Sax, 7-10 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 18: Hope Academy, 7-8 p.m.; Pass Road Elementary Choir, 8-9 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 19: Dave and Shari, 7-10 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 20: Midnight Magic, 7-10 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 21: Jesse Hill, 7-10 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 22: Davis & Sax, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 23: Coast Big Band, 7-10 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 26: (To be announced)

Wednesday, Dec. 27: Dave and Sharri, 7-10 p.m.

Thrusday, Dec. 28: (To be announced)

Friday, Dec. 29: The Chitlins, 7-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 30: Midnight Magic, 7-10 p.m.

Scott Hawkins: 228-896-2424, @ScottHawkins4

3rd Annual Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival

Where: Jones Park, U.S. 90 and U.S. 49, Gulfport

When: 5:30-9:30 p.m. (show ends at 10:30 p.m.) nightly Friday through Dec. 31 (Closed Dec. 24-Dec. 25)

Phone: 228-868-5881

Price: Admission is $10 per person, children 4 and younger are admitted free; ride tickets are $1 each.

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