Gulfport, Florida

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Gulfport, Florida
City
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°45′2″N 82°42′31″W / 27.75056°N 82.70861°W / 27.75056; -82.70861Coordinates: 27°45′2″N 82°42′31″W / 27.75056°N 82.70861°W / 27.75056; -82.70861
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Pinellas
Government
 • Mayor Sam Henderson
 • Ward 1 Dan Liedtke
 • Ward 2 Christine Anne Brown
 • Ward 3 Jennifer Salmon
 • Ward 4 Michael Fridovich
Area
 • Total 3.8 sq mi (9.9 km2)
 • Land 2.8 sq mi (7.3 km2)
 • Water 1 sq mi (2.6 km2)
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 12,029
 • Density 3,200/sq mi (1,200/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 33707, 33711, 33737
Area code(s) 727
FIPS code 12-28175[1]
GNIS feature ID 0283501[2]
Website www.mygulfport.us
Veterans Park
A December sunset from Clam Bayou Park looking over Boca Ciega Bay
Sam Henderson, Mayor of Gulfport, Florida

Gulfport is a city in Pinellas County,[3] Florida, bordering St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay. The population of Gulfport was 12,029 at the 2010 census.[4] Gulfport is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 19th largest MSA in the country.

The town was originally named Disston City in 1884 when Hamilton Disston purchased land in the area. The United States Postal Service would not recognize the name as it conflicted with a town in Hillsborough County. Instead, it was named Bonifacio. In 1890, the town name was changed to Veteran City. In 1910, the name officially changed to Gulfport.[5]

Gulfport is distinguished by its high concentration of artisans inspired by the intense light and tropical scenery. A celebration the first Friday and third Saturday of each month called "Art Walk" attracts locals and tourists. Many street performers, artists and craftspeople show up to create a relaxed cultured atmosphere in the warm balmy evening breezes coming off the beach at the end of the street.

"Old Florida" is a phrase often evoked in describing Gulfport's waterfront district, with its mix of small-scale cottages and small independent shops, restaurants and other businesses, situated among mature oak trees and brick-paved streets. Gulfport's recognition as a primary dining destination in Tampa Bay is exemplified by the proximity of over a dozen restaurants within walking distance along a few blocks on or near Beach Blvd.

Tuesdays are Fresh Market days in the Gulfport Waterfront district from 9 am to 3 pm, on Beach Blvd. The Fresh Market showcases fresh produce, cheese, seafood, honey, nuts, baked goods, plants, art and crafts, and local entertainment. The Fresh Market is a year-round event.

Annual festivals include "Get Rescued in Gulfport" on the fourth Saturday of February, a charitable street festival featuring pet rescue organizations from throughout the region, vendors of pet products and demonstrations. SpringFest occurs on the fourth Saturday of March and involves a day devoted to local artists, crafters, live music and more. The July 4th celebration includes a parade, vendors, live music and a fireworks production staged at Williams Pier on the waterfront. Gecko Fest happens on Saturday of each Labor Day weekend and is the largest street festival of the year, including street performers, live music on multiple stages, and food, art and craft vendors.

The Catherine A. Hickman Theater of Gulfport is located on Beach Boulevard at 26th Avenue South and is a venue for live theatrical performances. The nearby Gulfport Senior Center offers activities throughout the week for residents within and outside of the city.

The Gulfport Casino Ballroom, located on the waterfront, is one of the main event venues in the city. The Casino hosts Swing, Salsa, Argentine Tango, and Ballroom Dance events five days a week with a large turnout from all across the Tampa area. The venue also is available for rent to the public and popular for weddings, company parties and functions, and holiday parties. The ballroom features a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) authentic 1930s style dance floor.

Adjacent to the Casino, Gulfport Beach offers an attractive swath of sand on Boca Ciega Bay for swimming, sunbathing and family gatherings. Beach pavilions, a bocce ball course, a playground, and jogging circle near the Recreation Center offer amenities for all ages. Teams assemble nearby for beach volleyball, while others enjoy picnics with tots on park swings.

Stetson University College of Law, founded in 1900, is located in Gulfport (having moved there in 1954 from its original location in DeLand).

In 2011 Gulfport was named a finalist by Rand McNally for best food town in the U.S.[6]

Geography[edit]

Gulfport is located at 27°45′2″N 82°42′31″W / 27.75056°N 82.70861°W / 27.75056; -82.70861 (27.750605, -82.708618)[7].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2). 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) of it is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) of it (26.30%) is water.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 12,527 people, 6,246 households, and 3,154 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,422.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,709.1/km²). There were 7,306 housing units at an average density of 2,579.1 per square mile (996.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.40% White, 7.06% African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.47% of the population.

One of Gulfport's restaurants in the waterfront entertainment district

There were 6,246 households out of which 16.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.5% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.8% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 28.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,809, and the median income for a family was $37,016. Males had a median income of $25,756 versus $23,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,801. About 9.5% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

Cable TV[edit]

GTV615 is the local Government-access television (GATV) cable TV channel for Gulfport. The signal was moved to channel 615 on December 11, 2007, on Bright House Networks. Residents however then had to rent an official cable box to watch the channel, which cost an extra dollar a month.[8]

The channel includes city information, information relating to the city's events, a historical video of the city, city meetings, as well as additional programming.

Education[edit]

Public education is provided by Pinellas County Schools. Gulfport has two public schools, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School. The closest middle school to Gulfport is Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, located in St. Petersburg. Gulfport Elementary School was the first Montessori school in Pinellas County.

Stetson University College of Law is located in Gulfport. Its tower is one of the best known images to locals and has become an iconic part of the skyline.

Entertainment and arts[edit]

Gulfport has a trolley system which passengers can ride around the city and the surrounding area for free.[9] The city is still a sleepy beach town but is gaining interest for its culinary and arts scene, and colorful ambiance. The downtown area has a few art galleries, as well as the Hickman Theater, a small performing arts center.[10][11][12][13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]