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Chasco Fiesta kicks off in New Port Richey

Arvel Bird, the American Indian flutist and fiddler known as the “Lord of the Strings,” performs Thursday night at the Chasco Fiesta. He’ll perform all weekend during breaks at the powwow.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Arvel Bird, the American Indian flutist and fiddler known as the “Lord of the Strings,” performs Thursday night at the Chasco Fiesta. He’ll perform all weekend during breaks at the powwow.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Chasco Fiesta street parade kicks off at 1 p.m. today, anchoring the first weekend of merriment at Pasco's oldest, largest and longest festival.

The parade will feature about 150 entries, including dozens of colorful floats, bands, youth marching groups and other units. The theme will be Sand Soldiers of America, in honor of military men and women.

The parade forms at Gulf Drive and Grand Boulevard, moves north on Grand, around Orange Lake, down Bank Street to Main, then west on Main to U.S. 19. Tens of thousands of people are expected to be at the parade, so parking near downtown will be scarce. Those who attend should anticipate long walks.

There will be plenty of other things to do in and around Sims Park.

The Native American Dance Competition runs all weekend with more than $14,000 in prize money at stake. American Indian flutist and fiddler Arvel Bird, known as the "Lord of the Strings," will play during breaks at the powwow.

The carnival midway will be open for rides. And there will be continuous live music at the Sims Park Amphitheater, with a lineup of rock 'n' roll tribute bands today and classic rock bands on Sunday. The nightly entertainment heading into next week includes bluegrass music on Monday and Latin music on Tuesday.

Chasco raises money for about 30 local nonprofits, which are putting on events and selling food during the 11-day festival.

Chasco schedule

TODAY

8 to 11 a.m.: Cotee River Lions Club breakfast ($3)

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Flea Market, Arts and Crafts Village, parking lot at Circle Boulevard and Central Avenue

9 a.m. to noon: Junior Service League Children's Village

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile

11 a.m. to 11 p.m.: Carnival midway rides; West Pasco Sertoma Beef Barbecue ($9)

12:30 p.m.: Main Street Mile at Schwettman Education Center

1 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Street Parade; Grand entry, Native American Festival and Powwow

1 to 11 p.m.: Rock 'n' roll tribute day, featuring Odyssey Road, a Journey tribute band; Circle Sky, playing classic rock from the '60s and '70s; local blues artist Julie Black; Franc Robert & Boxcar Tourists; and DFA Band

7 to 10 p.m.: Grand entry, Native American Festival and Powwow

SUNDAY

8 to 11 a.m.: Cotee River Lions Club breakfast ($3)

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Gulfside Corvette Club Chasco Car, Truck & Bike Show, Orange Lake (entry fee to participate)

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Flea Market, Arts and Crafts Village, parking lot at Circle Boulevard and Central Avenue

Noon: Grand entry, Native American Festival and Powwow

Noon to 4 p.m.: West Pasco Sertoma Beef Barbecue ($9)

1 to 6 p.m.: Carnival midway rides

1 to 9:30 p.m.: Classic Rock 'n' Roll featuring the high-energy Bobby Friss Band; Roadhouse Band; Time Bandits; and Bone Yard Dogs

5 p.m.: Native American dance competition winners announced

UPCOMING EVENTS

6 to 10 p.m. Monday: Bluegrass music featuring Larry Gillis and his Hard Driving Swampgrass Band; and Avery County

6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday: Noche Latina featuring Supernatural, a Santana tribute band; and Sol Caribe

The carnival midway will be open 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today and April 2; and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and April 3.

The Native American Festival will be open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and all day Friday, April 2 and April 3.

Chasco Fiesta runs through April 3. For information, visit www.chascofiesta.com.

Chasco Fiesta kicks off in New Port Richey 03/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 9:00pm]
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