NEW PORT RICHEY — The 33rd annual Holiday Street Parade at 7 p.m. Saturday will highlight a weekend of activities at the Greater New Port Richey Main Street Holidays celebration Friday through Sunday.
Last weekend's kickoff activities were dampened by rain, wind and bone-chilling (by Florida standards, anyway) temperatures. Even so, a lighted boat parade went ahead as scheduled, with 20 bright boats of all sizes and an enthusiastic, though rather sparse, crowd of spectators.
This weekend is expected to be warmer, though showers may fall from time to time.
Activities start at 5 p.m. Friday, when the carnival midway and the downtown Shop 'n Stroll open until 9 p.m.
From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Halina's Interiors, 5346 Main St., for photos ($5 for a 5- by 7-inch).
Free holiday movies will be shown at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., with free gifts to the first 100 children who go through the gates, at Sims Park. Take chairs and blankets.
The carnival midway will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, there will be an arts and crafts village; river boat rides aboard Miss Daisy (leaving from the Sims Park dock; $5) to see holiday lights along the Cotee River; kayak and canoe rentals; pony rides; children's activities; festival food; commercial vendors and live entertainment throughout Sims Park.
Special entertainment on Saturday includes a performance of "The Holidays Through the Eyes of a Child" by students of Genesis School at 2:30 p.m.; the Bone Yard Dogs blues band from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; and a concert by country singer John Wayne Wilkinson and the Dixie Highway Band from 9 to 11 p.m.
On Sunday, several of the food vendors will sell breakfast foods for kids and grownups to eat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Life Long Studios will have a photographer present to take holiday photos ($5).