Cotee River Bike Fest roars into New Port Richey

Thousands of bikers will stream into downtown New Port Richey tonight through the weekend to eat, trade stories, admire other bikes, watch the special events, and shop at the booths of motorcycle equipment and apparel vendors.

Times files (2007)

Thousands of bikers will stream into downtown New Port Richey tonight through the weekend to eat, trade stories, admire other bikes, watch the special events, and shop at the booths of motorcycle equipment and apparel vendors.

While several area events are getting smaller or going away altogether, the fifth annual Cotee River Bike Fest is growing by one-third and expecting crowds as large — if not larger — than ever before.

"We are excited to add Friday night to this year's event," said Joe Alpine, president of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event. Going from two days to three means that many of those who attend will be spending one more night in Pasco County — a boon for motels.

"The west Pasco area has so much to offer people," Alpine said. October's usually cooler weather encourages riders to get out and do other things in this area, he said.

In past years, hundreds of bikes have lined downtown streets and the circle around Orange Lake, and thousands of bikers have shown up to admire other bikes, watch the special events, trade stories, shop at the motorcycle equipment and apparel vendors' booths, and eat in local restaurants.

The bikers are favorites of Juan de Sosa, owner of Juan's Black Bean Cafe in the heart of downtown, a popular spot among those at the festival.

"They were patient, courteous, thoughtful," de Sosa said of the bikers at a previous gathering.

"Many of them were Christians; I saw them praying before they ate their meals," de Sosa said. Unlike crowds at some other downtown events, the bikers left his restrooms spotless and his serving staff impressed by their good manners, he added.

De Sosa recently said he was looking forward to this year's bike fest, not only because of the increased business at his restaurant but because he genuinely enjoys playing host.

Those who attend the bike fest will have plenty to keep them entertained: performers on the Sims Park amphitheater stage and also on a portable stage set up on Grand Boulevard, motorcycle skills demonstrations, bike show competitions, a Daisy Duke contest, tattoo contest and special events throughout.

A Motorman Rider's Skill Show will be held at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. today, 11:30 a.m. and 2 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Orlando Harley Drill Team will perform in the north section of the Bank Street parking lot at 1, 3 and 6 p.m. Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Disc-Connected K9's World Famous Frisbee Dogs will perform at the south end of Sims Park at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. today, 11:30 a.m., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Cotee River Bike Fest is sponsored by the law offices of Lucas, Green and Magazine and many other businesses.

Entertainment schedule

Tonight

Sims Park Stage

5-7 p.m.: Time Bandits

7-8 p.m.: Daisy Duke contest

8-10 p.m.: Jimmy Sparks Band

• • •

Grand Boulevard Stage

5:30-7 p.m.: Doug Blades (with Wiley Fox)

7:30-10 p.m.: Wiley Fox

Saturday

Sims Park Stage

10-11:30 a.m.: P-E-G

Noon-2 p.m.: Delta Aces

2:30-4:30 p.m.: Voodoo Child

4:45-5:30 p.m.: Vintage Bike Show Awards

5:30-7:30 p.m.: Sean Chambers blues

8-10 p.m.: Bobby Friss Band

• • •

Grand Boulevard Stage

10-11 a.m.: Music GMS

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Diamond Gray Band

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Partners in Crime

4-6 p.m.: Bone Yard Dogs

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Tattoo contest

7:30-10 p.m.: Ozana

Sunday

Sims Park Stage

9-10 a.m.: Sunday service

10-11:30 a.m.: Music GMS

11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Basic Rock Outfit

3:30-4 p.m.: Ride-In Bike Show Awards

• • •

Grand Boulevard Stage

10 a.m.-noon: Music GMS

Noon-4 p.m.: The Dive Bar Stalkers

if you go

Bike fest

What: Cotee River Bike Fest

Where: Downtown New Port Richey and Sims Park

When: 5 to 11 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: Free

Cotee River Bike Fest roars into New Port Richey 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 11:15pm]

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