NEW PORT RICHEY — More than 100 boats with a total value of over $2 million will be the centerpiece of the Cotee River Seafood Festival and Bright House Networks Boat Show from Friday through Sunday.
But that — and lots of seafood — is just the beginning of the increasingly popular late springtime festival in and around Sims Park.
The event now includes 21 hours of live bands playing in the amphitheater, as well as an arts and crafts village, kayak races, pontoon boat rides, the Swamp Master Gator Show and a car, truck and Corvette contest.
Music kicks off the festival on Friday, with three bands playing at True Oldies Music Night. The Solid Core Band will play pop, blues, funk and dance music from 6 to 7:30 p.m., followed by the '60s Groove band from 8 to 9:30 p.m., with tributes to the Beatles, the Who, Dusty Springfield and others.
Friday's headliner is Mike T's Tribute to Roy Orbison from 10 to 11 p.m.
The festival continues from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days there will be an arts and crafts village with items from $5 to $500; the boat show; and Miss Daisy pontoon boat rides ($5) on the Cotee River.
Both days will feature the Swamp Master Gator Show at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Saturday has other special events: the Salt Springs Classic Kayak Race and Fun Paddle, both starting at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, 9120 Old Post Road, Port Richey and ending at Sims Park (transportation back to your vehicle will be provided). Entry fee is $15 per kayak; registration starts at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. See saltspringsalliance.com for details and rules.
Makai Kayak & Kanoes will be at the Sims Park dock with kayak and canoe rentals at various prices.
Saturday also features the Sunset Corvette and Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with 35 awards, including Best of Show, and dashboard plaques for the first 75 to enter. Registration is $15; call Tom Morrow for details at (352) 650-3464.
A Weeki Wachee mermaid will appear throughout the park from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for chats and photo ops.
The Blues by the River concert goes from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Free (bring chairs or blankets for seating) or VIP seating for $7, starting at 5 p.m.
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.: Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues
1:15-2:30 p.m.: Blue Lightning
3-4:30 p.m.: Tampa Tina & The Delta Aces
5-6:30 p.m.: Walker Smith Group
7-8:30 p.m.: Gary Brown Blues Band
9-10:30 p.m.: Sean Carney Band
Noon-1 p.m.: Lee Pons
1:30-3 p.m.: Lazy Boy & Friends
3:30-5 p.m.: Sean Chambers