NEW PORT RICHEY — Downtown streets will be closed off this weekend as thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts blow in for what has become one of the biggest events in Pasco County.
The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce Cotee River Bike Fest gets under way Friday in Sims Park and downtown New Port Richey. The three-day event, presented by Kemp Ruge & Green, Team Farrell and Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, features live music on two stages, American Combat Wrestling bouts, a Revolution Roller Derby exhibition match, motorcycle and bikini contests, vendors, food, beverages and, of course, an abundance of sweet rides that will line the streets.
A special draw in the entertainment lineup will be the heavy metal band FireHouse, known for 1990s hit singles Reach for the Sky, Don't Treat Me Bad and All She Wrote. Tampa's Soul Circus Cowboys will also perform, along with a few tribute bands and local favorites such as the Bearded Brothers, the Embry Brothers and Monkey Bone.
Two events will benefit local charities.
The Firefighters Motorcycle Fire & Iron Poker Run, to benefit the Children's Burn Camp, will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, with the last bike leaving by 1 p.m. There will be five stops, with the run ending at the Fire & Iron booth in Sims Park.
A 2005 Harley-Davidson V-Rod CVO Screamin' Eagle will be raffled Sunday, with proceeds to be used for the construction of the Rob Cartwright Memorial Stage at the Angelus. Tickets may be purchased through 8 p.m. Saturday or at Team Farrell at 6835 Commerce Way, Port Richey, or at Schaer Development of Central Florida at 2715 Hunt Road, Land O'Lakes.
Bike shows, presented by Venom Choppers, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with awards in 10 classes and $1,000 in cash prizes.