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Motorcyclists prepare to rumble in for annual Cotee River Bike Fest

New Port Richey is rolling out the red carpet for the bikers. Here a biker takes a ride down Grand Boulevard last year.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

New Port Richey is rolling out the red carpet for the bikers. Here a biker takes a ride down Grand Boulevard last year.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Get ready to hear the rumble as bikers from near and far roll into town for the annual West Pasco Chamber of Commerce Cotee River Bike Fest, which takes place Friday through Sunday.

The main event will be in the historic downtown area and at Sims Park, with a second venue at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey.

Bike Fest is expected to draw some 25,000 to 35,000 motorcycle enthusiasts for three days of live music, contests, food and drink, and plenty of iron rides.

The welcome mat is out in a big way, said event chairman Mike Chissell, adding that the city is temporarily reopening parts of Sims Park, which is undergoing renovations, for this event.

"We want New Port Richey to be known as America's most friendly biker city," Chissell said. "This is literally the biggest and best bike show we've ever had."

Tony Cianci, event coordinator and the owner/publisher of Full Throttle Magazine, is equally enthusiastic.

"It's the beginnings of another Leesburg Bike Fest," which draws upward of 250,000 bikers every year, Cianci said.

Fourteen bands will perform on two stages throughout the weekend, including a couple of tribute bands as well as familiar favorites such as the Bearded Brothers, the Undercover Betty Band, Cowboy Mafia and the Black Honkeys.

The event will also feature 75 vendors selling food and various other items. A Saturday night pub crawl, held in the downtown "wet zone," comes with the chance to win a wheel barrow full of liquor by visiting participating bars and restaurants. There also will be an opportunity to hear live music in an air-conditioned venue, including blues, jazz and soul singer/songwriter Julie Black, who will perform Friday evening at Dulcet Restaurant and Lounge

Itching for a ride to call your own, or just like to look? A ticket for the Harley giveaway is just $10. The Full Throttle and Fran Haasch Custom Bike Unveil will be on the main stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Contests include Dukes and Dudes (7 p.m. Friday), bikinis (7 p.m. Saturday) and a number of decked-out rides entered in the Full Throttle Bike Show, with awards to be given out Saturday and Sunday on the main stage.

Visitors 21 and older are welcome to take a demo ride on a 2016 Harley-Davidson — with proper riding/safety gear and a valid motorcycle license. Or saddle up your own bike and meet at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey with other riders for the Fire and Iron Poker Run, which will benefit the Children's Burn Camp, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Contact Michele Miller at mmiller@tampabay.com or at (727) 869-6251. Follow @MicheleMiller52.

>>if you go

Schedule

The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce Cotee River Bike Fest will be Friday through Sunday in downtown New Port Richey, with a second venue, featuring barbecue, live music and vendors, at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, 5817 State Road 54. Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

The music lineup includes:

Friday — Main Stage: Undercover Betty Band (5-7 p.m.), Greg Billings Band (8-10 p.m.). Downtown Stage: Time Bandits (5:30-7:30 p.m.), Sons of Nuns (8-10 p.m.).

Saturday — Main Stage: Dead Serious (noon-2 p.m.), Nuthin' Fancy — Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band (2:30-4:30 p.m.), Bearded Brothers (5-7 p.m.), Highway to Hell (8:30-10:45 p.m.). Downtown stage: Eric Anderson Band (1-3 p.m.), Jaded (4-6 p.m.), Cowboy Mafia (7-10 p.m.).

Sunday — Main Stage: US Stones (1-2:30 p.m.), Black Honkeys (3-5 p.m.). Downtown Stage: Jeff Vitolo and the Quarter Mile Rebels (1-4 p.m.).

For additional information, including a full listing of events, go to coteeriverbikefest.org.

Motorcyclists prepare to rumble in for annual Cotee River Bike Fest 10/07/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 2:13pm]
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