Harrison County

This Christmas spectacle is the most magical in Mississippi

Families walk through Jones Park on the first night of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival last year.
Families walk through Jones Park on the first night of the Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival last year. amccoy@sunherald.com

It isn’t Christmas on the Coast until locals find illuminated snowflakes in the trees in Bay St. Louis or a lighted mermaid and dolphins pulling Santa in downtown Biloxi.

The newest Coast light show nestled along the water is making a splash online — it was voted the most magical Christmas lights display in the state.

Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival had a trial run on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015.

The Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival brought Christmas to Jones Park and the Gulfport Harbor for the first time last year, and the light show was a huge success among locals and visitors.

The festival fills Jones Park with lighted displays, live music, a huge Ferris wheel and a Santa village under the Barksdale Pavilion. Chris Vignes, Gulfport city spokesman, said city workers put out thousands of lights each year, and the event, sponsored by Island View Casino, will continue to grow.

Asher Griffin, a 6-year-old Gulfport boy with a congenital heart defect, flipped the switch to light up the park Nov. 22.

Anybody driving along U.S. 90 or cruising the Mississippi Sound by boat can see why Only In Your State called the festival the most magical in Mississippi.

Snowflakes in the Bay also made the list, along with Christmas at Beauvoir.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @Journalism_J

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