Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Gorgeous Day for Chasco Boat Parade

Organizers of the "Viva Las Vegas" Chasco Boat Parade could not have asked for more picture-perfect weather today.

The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing and the crowds were just a-chilling all along the scenic Pithlachascotee River in downtown New Port Richey.

In case you missed the parade, here are a few of our favorites. We'll post the official winners as soon as they are available.

This last boat has our very own County Commissioner Jack Mariano, Clerk & Comptroller Paula O'Neil, Sen. Mike Fasano, and Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. A great day to be out meeting the public!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chasco Fiesta Continues - But Wait, There's More! Downtown Dade City Also Hosting Its Spring Antique Faire

If you haven't yet had your fill of music, food and revelry, don't worry, the fun continues this weekend at the 2010 Chasco Fiesta in downtown New Port Richey, with two of the main attractions of the week taking place on Saturday - the fabulous Viva Las Vegas Boat Parade along the Cotee River, starting at 1 p.m., followed by the always popular Chasco Country Concert, featuring Luke Bryan, pictured here, Love & Theft and local crowd-pleasers Wiley Fox. Gates for the show at Sims Park open at 5:45 p.m., with general admission tickets just $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Two quick factoids about this year's talent - Luke Bryan is a 2010 Academy of Country Music nominee for Top New Solo Vocalist. And the hit band Love & Theft is scheduled to begin opening shows for Tim McGraw in May! So catch these future superstars at a great price and small venue (only 4,500 seats) while you still can!

Another Chasco favorite, the Boat Parade starts at Miller's Bayou at 1 p.m. and runs through downtown along the Cotee River. It's billed as the oldest boat parade in Florida and since Chasco itself has been around since the 1920s, we don't doubt it! The parade includes dozens of floats from schools, local businesses and individual families, plus thousands of dollars in prizes for the most creatively decorated "Vegas-themed" vessels. So, bring your cameras!

Also this weekend is the Kayak Race and Fun Paddle to raise funds for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services of Florida; the Homewood Suites Hilton Softball Tournament, a qualifying event for the National Softball Association; and the famous Cotee River Lions Club Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday at Sims Park. To view the complete weekend calendar, click here. For a map and directions, click here.

If you do happen to be too pooped after last weekend's festivities, consider stepping back to a slower time at Downtown Dade City Main Street's Spring Antique Faire on Saturday and Sunday. Even if it doesn't quite feel like spring yet, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a slice of small-town Americana at its finest - plus find great deals on everything from country primitives to fine antiques - all under the shady oak trees of beautiful downtown Dade City. Don't forget to hit some of the more than 60 gift shops, boutiques and excellent restaurants while you're there. For a downtown map and shopping guide, click here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chasco Fiesta & Orange Blossom BBQ This Weekend

It's another great weekend to get out and enjoy some unique events in Pasco County!

On the west side of the county, the biggest event of the year, Chasco Fiesta, kicks off on Thursday, with eleven days of live, nationally-known entertainment, arts and crafts, games, rides and more, all along the banks of the beautiful Pithlachascotee River in downtown New Port Richey. The event includes a Native American Festival, decorated boat parade and one of the largest street parades in the area (Saturday, March 20.) You can follow Chasco on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates, photos and more.

On the east side of the county, professional BBQ teams and backyard chefs from all over will vie for cash prizes and trophies during the Orange Blossom Special BBQ & Bike Ride at the Dade City Business Center Festival Courtyard on Friday and Saturday. The event also includes an Outdoor Expo, Beer Can Chicken Contest, games for the kids, classic cars, arts and crafts festival, and a Reptile Discovery Exhibit & Show.

Just today, Habitat has confirmed that country star Matt Kennon will perform on Friday night for just $5. Check the Habitat website for a complete schedule of events and get the latest updates on their Facebook page. And, as always, enjoy another beautiful weekend in Pasco County!

Ragtime a Hit in Downtown Dade City

Had a great time this weekend at the first annual Ragtime Festival and Equestrian Parade in downtown Dade City. It's the first time the city has hosted the event since a similar parade was held last year as part of the Little Everglades Steeplechase.

Sponsored by the City of Dade City Youth Council and the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, the high-stepping horse parade was followed by an afternoon of live ragtime and blues music, great barbecue and the aweseome dance routines of Sally Blackwood Studios.

Thank you to the City of Dade City Youth Council, the Pioneer Museum and the many volunteers who helped make this event a success. It was truly a great day downtown and we hope the event will be back next year!

Stay tuned also for the next big event at the Pioneer - Les McDowell's Cowboy Days, featuring Matt Stillwell, Les McDowell's Cowboy Poetry, Cowboy Tom's Wild West Show, Cowboy Vern's Rope Tricks, an FFA petting zoo, 1800s authentic cow camp and much more!

Visit the Pioneer Museum website for full details! And thank you to our local paparazzo, Richard Riley, for the great photos!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Wild Day of Canoeing on the Withlacoochee River

Thinking of taking a trip up the scenic Withlacoochee River north of Dade City?
It's a great time of year since the water is high but it's important to be safe as well. Check out this great article by St. Pete Times' columnist Dan DeWitt on the pleasures - and potential perils - of a day on the water. As wonderful as it is to get out and enjoy the outdoors, it's equally as important to be safe - and be prepared for anything!
Click here for the full article. And click here for a list of other places to hike, bike and paddle in Pasco County!
Have a comment about Pasco Tourism? Click the "Comments" link above to discuss great places to visit in Pasco County or to recommend a destination for an upcoming Adventure.