The switch was flipped on Gulfport Harbor Lights

The Gulfport Harbor Lights Festival began today!

Alyvia Parker, a 3-year-old from Gulfport who was born with a heart condition, flipped the switch for the harbor lights.

Every opening night, it’s tradition the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wish of a local child by having them participate and meet Santa!

Alyvia just recovered from her second open-heart surgery and her mom said helping kick off the festival was a dream come true for her.

News 25 spoke with Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes about the festival.

He’s ecstatic it was recently named in the top 10 for U.S. cities with the best Christmas lights display.

“It’s not just a light display, its an experience. And you can come visit Santa, do your s’mores cooking over the flame, and see the lights,” said Mayor Hewes. “A lot of people say ‘I drive by it, I’ve seen it’ — then you haven’t seen it because it’s an experience.”

The festival starts every night starting at 5:30 PM.

Tickets are available online at and in person at Jones Park.

Categories: Local News, News