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Tropical party to sizzle in downtown NPR

The award-winning Brighthouse Networks A Night in the Tropics street party will celebrate its 10th year from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday in downtown New Port Richey.

The popular event features two outdoor stages with live entertainment, a Classic Car Cruise-In, two tropical beer gardens, food booths, street vendors and specials at downtown restaurants.

To enhance the Caribbean atmosphere, one vendor will sell hand-rolled cigars, according to Judy DeBella Thomas, executive director of Greater New Port Richey Main Street, organizers of the event.

Performing on the Margaritaville Stage set up on Grand Boulevard south of the Art Deco district will be the Latin rock band Supernatural, doing songs made famous by Carlos Santana. Supernatural's front man is David "Milagro" Mueller, who plays a Santana model guitar and uses vintage combo amplifiers to capture the Santana sound.

Opening act is Solid Core, a dance, pop, funk and blues band that performed at the Cotee River Seafood Festival this year.

Featured performers on the Havana Stage in Railroad Square on Nebraska Avenue (a block east of Grand) will be Gabriel "Puly" Sequeira and the Sounds of Havana. Also performing will be Jonathan Cortez, who appeared at Main Street's Founders Day Fall Celebration in 2008.

For those wanting to really get into the spirit of the night, there's the party people's Island Hoppers Club, where a $30 membership fee ($25 if you've been a member before) gets a custom T-shirt, light-up beads, a market bag full of goodies, two drink tickets for Hopper Tropical Punch and a treasure map leading to a treasure chest with more than $250 in cash and prizes.

Main Street organizers say A Night in the Tropics is "the hottest night of the summer, and the coolest party around." This year is a tribute to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which kicked off at 5:07 p.m. Aug. 15, 1969.

Ten years ago, A Night in the Tropics brought more than 2,000 people to downtown, DeBella said. Last year's event attracted more than 15,000, she said. It has been given an Honor Award as Most Outstanding Special Event by Florida Main Street and the Florida secretary of state.

if you go

Party time

What: Brighthouse Networks A Night in the Tropics.

When: 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Downtown New Port Richey.

Tickets: Free; membership in Island Hoppers Club is $30 for newcomers, $25 for returning members. Call (727) 842-8066.

Tropical party to sizzle in downtown NPR 08/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 13, 2009 5:03pm]

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