If you haven't heard the rumble already, you probably will as motorcycles roll into Pasco this weekend for the 2012 Florin/Roebig Cotee River Bike Fest.
The event, now in its eighth year, is a "kid in a candy store" offering for motorcycle and music enthusiasts alike, with a plethora of Harleys, sports bikes, trikes, antique and radical rides parked along the streets of downtown New Port Richey, and a musical lineup featuring Southern rock, hard rock and the blues at the Sims Park amphitheater.
"We're expecting about 30,000 over three days," said event organizer Dan Sullivan. While the fest is geared to bikers near and far, he said, it should also appeal to locals looking to get out and about this weekend.
Those bringing their own rides are welcome to take part in one of two "ride-ins" sponsored by Florida's Full Throttle magazine. The Orlando Harley-Davidson Drill Team will be back for the third year as "goodwill ambassadors" to the community, showing precision driving and offering safe-riding demonstrations during shows throughout the weekend. Stunt rider and Guinness World Record holder Jesse Toler will be back at 7 tonight; noon, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday with a thrilling performance in the Bank Street parking lot.
Add to that a Daisy Duke Contest (think short shorts and cowboy hats), pizza eating contest and a Fire + Iron Poker Run on Sunday to benefit the Children's Burn Camp Foundation. There's also the opportunity to purchase riding gear, bike accessories, beer and food from vendors, customize your own ride by purchasing or trading used bike parts at the Sunday Swap and Meet and ponying up $5 for a bike trailer raffle.
Then there's the music that will be sprinkled through the weekend, featuring performances by national acts the Highway to Hell AC/DC tribute band (8 to 10 p.m. today), LoCash Cowboys (8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday) Wild Blue Country (4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday), and Drive Band (6:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday); as well as some local blues performed by the Sean Paige Blues Band (5 to 7 tonight), Franc Roberts (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday) and Julie Black (1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday).