The History of Fairs in Gulfport, Mississippi

The Picayune Street Festival is now held twice a year in the charming city of Gulfport, Mississippi, offering first-class entertainment, collectibles and activities. This area was occupied by indigenous cultures for thousands of years, culminating in the historic encounter between the Choctaw and the first European explorers in the area. The French colonists founded nearby Biloxi and Mobile in the 18th century, long before the United States acquired the area from France in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase. Through the Indian Expulsion Act of 1830, the United States completed treaties to extinguish the land claims of the Choctaw and other tribes and transferred them to Indian territory, now Oklahoma.

During this period, the other four of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast were also eliminated, making way for white settlers to seize land and develop it for agriculture, especially cotton. On March 19th or George M. Foote announced that the Andrew Carnegie Foundation was going to help build a Carnegie library in Gulfport. The city had agreed to provide counterpart funding for construction, as well as to commit to providing operational funding. In the 20th century, the city became an important port; having railroads from the interior, it stimulated the city's growth by providing a way to bring products to markets.

In December 1993, the city annexed 33 square miles (85 km) north of Gulfport, making it the second largest city in Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina damaged more than 40 Mississippi libraries, destroying the Gulfport Public Library, on the first floor, and shattering windows on the second floor, with no possibility of repair. Although Katrina's damage was much more widespread, it wasn't the most ferocious hurricane to hit Gulfport. Katrina, a Category 3 storm when it made landfall, was overshadowed by Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 storm, which hit Gulfport and neighboring communities on August 17th 1969 with sustained winds of 175 mph compared to Katrina's 120 mph sustained winds. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 64.2 square miles (166.4 km), of which 56.9 square miles (147.4 km) are land and 7.3 square miles (19.0 km) (11.40%) are water. The Gulfport Formation, named here at Harrison Co., has a thickness ranging from 5.0 to 9.5 m.

It is limited to a 1 to 3 km wide belt of discontinuous barrier ridges that borders the continental coast of the Gulf. It usually overlaps the Prairie Formation (alluvium) inland and the Biloxi Formation (platform deposits) near the coast. It slopes upward from poorly classified to moderately classified coastal sands to beach sands and dunes. From its beginnings as a logging port, Gulfport became a diversified city with nearly 6.7 miles (10.8 kilometers) of white-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Gulfport has become a tourist destination due to its casinos on The Mississippi coast as well as popular cultural events such as Cruisin' The Coast (a week of classic cars), “Black Spring Break” and “Smokin' The Sound” (speedboat races). It is also a thriving residential community with a strong market center; there are historic neighborhoods and places of residence as well as diverse shopping opportunities and several motels scattered everywhere to accommodate golfing, gambling and water sports tourism. Gulfport is also home to The Island View Casino - one of twelve casinos on The Mississippi Gulf Coast - as well as The Coastal Transit Authority which offers bus service to The region with fixed-route and paratransit services.

Major highways such as Interstate 10 run east-west through The central section of Gulfport while The Gulfport Police Department has 160 sworn officers and 80 civilians with The assistance of The U. S Coast Guard which operates 9 ships from Gulfport Harbor - 4 of which are patrol boats - with an average response rate of 300 search and rescue cases per year. The “best week ever” has different connotations but on The Mississippi Gulf Coast it commonly refers to The third week of October when The Jackson County Fair takes place in Pascagoula; contributing to The great American hobby of manufacturing, selling and buying crafts from its neighbors.