NEW PORT RICHEY — Chasco Fiesta takes to the water today with morning kayak races and fishing tournament, an early afternoon boat parade and the big Chasco Country Concert starring an American Idol finalist, Josh Gracin, tonight.
The fishing tourney, which benefits the Angelus home for developmentally disabled adults, launches early today, while the kayak races start at 9 a.m. at the Crab Shack just east of the U.S. 19 bridge on the Cotee River. Registration and breakfast are from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Kayakers will paddle to Sims Park, where cash prizes will go to winners.
The Rally to Remember fun runs, races and bicycle tours start at 8:15 a.m. in Starkey Wilderness Park, with registration at 7 a.m. The NSA World Series softball tourney starts at 9 a.m.
The Cotee River Boat Parade's theme is "Hooray for Hollywood." Scores of entrants are expected to vie for $4,500 in prizes, including the $2,500 grand prize. The parade starts in Moonlight Bay at 1 p.m. and floats to Sims Park.
The Native American Festival has a full day of talks, demonstrations and performers from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with a short break during the boat parade.
Highlights are Tommy Wildcat, native flutist and blowgun craftsman, at 11 a.m. and the Aztec Dancers at 2 and 8:15 p.m. In between are poets, historians, flint knappers, folksingers and dance demonstrations.
(For a complete daily schedule,, visit chascofiesta.com or call 1-877-424-2726.)
8 a.m.: Chasco Fishing Tournament, Riverfront Marina.
8-11 a.m.: Cotee River Lions Club Breakfast.
8:15 a.m.: Rally to Remember 2008 foot races, run/walk and bicycle tours, J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park; registration is at 7 a.m.
9 a.m.: Chasco Kayak Races, Cotee River.
9 a.m.: NSA World Series Qualifier Chasco Fiesta Adult Softball Tournament, Veteran's Memorial Park and W.H. "Jack" Mitchell Park.
10 a.m.-11 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.
10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Native American Festival.
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Children's Pageant, New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center.
11 a.m.-11 p.m.: West Pasco Sertoma Chicken Barbecue.
1 p.m.: Progressive Air & Carrier Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade, Cotee River.
6 p.m.: Country Concert starring Jake Owen and Josh Gracin ($15 and $25 in advance; $20 and $30 day of concert).
The event continues Sunday.