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New Port Richey considers putting limit on carnivals

The City Council is looking at capping events on downtown city land at three per year.

Published February 7, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - Carnivals are hardly celebrations of moderation. You can go on too many rides, stand amid too many people and eat too many funnel cakes.

But can you go to too many carnivals?

At least in New Port Richey, city officials say yes. They are considering an ordinance that would limit the number of carnivals on downtown city-owned property to three each year. Downtown business owners have complained about the side effects of carnivals, from the trash to the parking.

The City Council on Tuesday heard a first reading of the ordinance, which would also increase the cash bond required from carnival operators from $1,000 to $5,000 to cover damages to parking lots and curbing.

The proposed ordinance does not specify which carnivals would get the go-ahead each year, but council members have talked about giving priority to the three traditional carnivals: Chasco Fiesta, Founders Day and Main Street Holidays.

Last year there was only one more carnival than those, an event sponsored by the Italian American Women of Today. Even with the ordinance, additional carnivals could still locate on private property within the city limits, such as near U.S. 19.

Council members on Tuesday discussed building some deadlines into the ordinance, such as the length of time a carnival may last or cleanup time. A revised ordinance will come back a second time for a vote.

Greater New Port Richey Main Street Executive Director Judy Thomas said she supported the proposal.

"You've got to look at the big picture," she said. "Last year there are four. Next year there may be five, and the next year, six."

Resident John Kane deemed it a "wonderful idea" at Tuesday's meeting but added the city should prohibit alcohol at such events as the 11-day Chasco.

"We turned our backs on widespread alcohol use because it's Chasco," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at (727) 869-6247 or

[Last modified February 6, 2007, 22:57:24]

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