Mississippi Gulf Coast doesn't see much snow and frost in the winter, however, you can still find here much inspiration and Christmas spirit! Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival is a beloved local event creating warm memories for thousands of families every year during the winter holidays.
The largest Christmas Light Show in the state boasts over 1.5 million twinkling lights throughout 40 acres (16 ha) in Jones Park. The festival also features carnival rides, the Harbor Lights Train Station, offering holiday train rides, Santa’s Village with elves, and St. Nick himself greeting the little ones.
Dancing Trees is another highlight of the festival that creates a magical holiday experience, showing various choreographed lights for over two hours. Hop on a warmed trolley ride or stop by the food station for some hot chocolate and s'mores to keep yourself warm and cozy!
The festival hours are 5:30 pm through 10:30 pm, with Santa visits being scheduled from 6 pm to 10 pm, except Christmas Day when the old man is busy delivering presents. Pictures with Santa are included in the admission prices, which are $15–20 for adults, $5 for kids aged five to twelve, and free for the youngest festival-goers. You can buy tickets on the event's official website, noted in the External Resources. Lastly, parking information: free slots are available at the Coast Transit Authority (CTA) and at Jones Park's west entrance at the corner of Hwy 90 and 49.