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Chasco Fiesta has 11 nights of entertainment

Award-winning flute and fiddle player Arvel Bird and One Nation perform at last year’s Chasco Fiesta. This year marks their second appearance.

Times files (2007)

Award-winning flute and fiddle player Arvel Bird and One Nation perform at last year’s Chasco Fiesta. This year marks their second appearance.

Chasco Fiesta opens Thursday in New Port Richey's Sims Park and continues through April 6 with daily live entertainment, a carnival, a flea market/craft fair, special food events, a car show, sports tournaments, kayak and foot races, the naming of a Queen Chasco and King Pithla, and two huge parades: the Chasco Fiesta Street Parade at 1 p.m. March 29 and the Boat Parade at 1 p.m. April 5.

Started in 1922, Chasco Fiesta focuses on the area's American Indian heritage, with the centerpiece being a full-scale Native American Festival in Sims Park throughout the 11-day event. That event features intertribal dance contests and shows, talks and demonstrations of customs and ceremonies, arts, crafts, jewelry, clothing and music vendors and American Indian food booths.

To underscore that focus, Chasco's opening day features musicians and dancers on the amphitheater stage at 7 p.m.

Returning for a second year are the American/world rock band, One Nation, featuring flute and fiddle player Arvel Bird, who was voted the 2007 Artist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards in New York. A few weeks after winning that accolade, Bird won the Best Instrumental award in the 2007 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards

in Toronto.

The band One Nation was voted Best Native American Performing Group on the Web site in 2006, the same year Bird was voted Best Native American

Male Performer.

>>Check it out

Eleven nights of entertainment

Where: Sims Park, New Port Richey, and other locations

When: 5 p.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. April 6

Tickets: Vary

Other acts include:

6-11 p.m. March 28: Contemporary Christian Family Night with pop worship group Ashmont Hill; the bands Consumed, Desert Rain and Shepherd's View; blues/soul singer Jimmy Needham; and Dove Award-winning singer Natalie Grant.

4-11 p.m. March 29: Rock 'n' Roll Tribute Day with headliners Beatlemania, a Beatles tribute group, and the Roadhouse band playing classic rock, blues, country and Motown.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 30: Talent Search Showcase winners.

6-9 p.m. March 30: Magical Night of Entertainment with Radio Disney, with seven youth acts, including 535, B5, Maizee, Monet, Myxx, Playback and Tre.

6-10 p.m. March 31: Bluegrass music, featuring the Doerfel Family Band and Bits of Grass.

6-10 p.m. April 1: Noche Latina with Point 6.

6-10 p.m. April 2: Dancing Under the Stars with Jimmy "Q" and the Serenaders 16-piece band, doing big band sounds for a dancing contest, the Tap 'N Dolls, and the Ballroom Bicycle Brigade, a junior ballroom show team.

6-11 p.m. April 3: Rhythm & Bluesmasters, featuring the Back Alley Blues Band, Damon Fowler, Sean Chambers and Julie Black.

6-11 p.m. April 4: True Oldies Night, with DooWop singers the Elegants, Reynolds Brothers, and the Cleftones (Heart and Soul, Sentimental Reasons), $5 admission.

6 p.m. April 5: Country Concert, starring former American Idol contestant Josh Gracin and opening acts Jake Owen and Wiley Fox. Tickets are $15 and $25.

Chasco Fiesta has 11 nights of entertainment 03/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2008 8:36pm]
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