The Mississippi Aquarium -- now under construction in Gulfport -- won't officially open until late 2019 or early 2020, but the Aquarium board and Hancock Whitney Bank have partnered to generate a little excitement for the facility this month.
Tickets are on sale now for the inaugural Hancock Whitney Splash Bash, scheduled Friday, Sept. 21, from 7-11 p.m. at Gulfport's beachfront Barksdale Pavilion at Jones Park. The event benefits Mississippi Aquarium and provides guests a night of coastal cuisine, cocktails, and live music from Chinatown, a high-energy rock band packing venues across the country.
"it goes back to the original commitment from Mayor Billy Hewes," Mississippi Aquarium CEO David J. Kimmel said last week. "He said if it's going to be successful, it has to be a public-private partnership."
"We're kind of hoping (the Splash Bash) becomes the social event of the year in this region," Hancock Whitney MS Regional President Keith Williams said. "We're going to have food, we're going to have music, and we're going to present a technicolor underwater world with some live creatures and some large sea creatures."
"We all work together, we don't compete with one another, so people from the Columbus Zoo Ambassador Animal Program are bringing down some South African penguins" for the Splash Bash," Kimmel said. "They'll also be bringing in a sloth and a three-month-old cheetah and some other animals and there will be some surprise announcements about what people will see in the Aquarium that we'll announce during the Hancock Whitney Splash Bash."