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Chasco returns with 11 days of fun

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
Published March 21, 2007


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NEW PORT RICHEY - West Pasco's longest and largest annual event, Chasco Fiesta, will kick off Thursday in and around Sims Park with a Native American Festival and dance competition, carnival, dozens of food vendors, participatory and spectator sports events, parades, a flea market, and free entertainment nine out of the 11 nights of the event.

(The exceptions are Rhythm & Bluesmasters on Friday and the Chasco Country Concert on March 31; see ticket information below.)

Thursday will showcase American Indians, including members of the Lakota, Paiute, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee nations.

Vendors will sell handmade crafts, original music, jewelry, food, toys and other American Indian-style items throughout the fiesta. The dance competition, with more than $11,000 in prize money, will be held between 5 and 10 p.m. Thursday, as well as Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Master of ceremonies is Ron Columbe, Lakota; arena director is Dale Roberts, Chickasaw-Choctaw. Host drums are Awoholi of Cherokee, N.C., and Little Eagle of Ada, Okla.

Featured dancer Amanda Ironstar will perform with hoops at 8 p.m. Thursday, along with other dancers.

Award-winning violinist Arvel Bird will headline a concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sims Park Amphitheater. Bird's Southern Paiute and Scottish ancestry has helped him create a unique style of music with classical, Celtic and American Indian overtones. He incorporates flute, rattle and chants into his musical presentations.

Bird won the 2006 Native American Music Award for Best Instrumental Recording, the 2006 Indian Summer Music Award in the contemporary instrumental category and, along with his band One Nation, was voted Best Native American Performing Group on PowWows.com.

He has toured with Glen Campbell, Tom T. Hall, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn and Clay Walker. He has released 10 CDs and one DVD since 2002.

Other highlights at Chasco are the street parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, the boat parade on the Pithlachascotee River at 1 p.m. March 31 and the Country Concert starring Darryl Worley and Rodney Atkins on March 31.

Nightly entertainment will be Rhythm & Bluesmasters from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday ($10); Rock 'n' Roll Tribute Day from 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday; Talent Show from noon to 4 p.m. and Magical Night of Disney from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday; Bluegrass Music from 6 to 10 p.m. Monday; the Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday; Noche Latina (Latin Night) from 6 to 10 p.m. March 28; Doo Wop and Rock from 6 to 10 p.m. March 29; Contemporary Christian Family Night from 6 to 11 p.m. March 30; and Big Band Showcase from 2 to 5 p.m. April 1.

Gates will open for the Chasco Country Concert at 5:45 p.m. March 31. Headliners are Atkins and Worley, with opening act Wiley Fox. Tickets are $15 in advance for general admission and $20 for Golden Circle front area seats, available at the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce office, 5443 Main St., New Port Richey; or $25 general admission and $30 Golden Circle at the gate. Seating will be provided.

Chasco Fiesta schedule 

(All events are in or adjacent to Sims Park unless otherwise noted)

THURSDAY

To 10 p.m.: Native American Festival.

5-10 p.m.: Chasco Carnival; Native American Dance Competition.

7 p.m.: Native American Night Concert.

8 p.m.: Native American hoop dancer Amanda Ironstar.

FRIDAY

9 a.m.-11 p.m.: Native American Festival and Dance Competition.

1-4 p.m.: West Pasco Historical Society exhibit open at museum.

5-11 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-11 p.m.: Rhythm & Bluesmasters show, tickets are $10 at the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce office or at the gate.

6:30 p.m.: Lighthouse Coronation Ball, Spartan Manor.

7 p.m.: Native American Grand Entry.

SATURDAY

10 a.m.-11 p.m.: Native American Festival and Dance Competition.

10 a.m.-noon: Junior Service League's Children's Village.

10 a.m.-noon: Registration for Chasco Main Street Mile, Schwettman Education Center ($20).

11 a.m.-6 p.m.: West Pasco Historical Society exhibit open at museum.

11 a.m.-11 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

Noon: Native American Grand Entry.

12:30 p.m.: Chasco Main Street Mile starts, Schwettman Education Center.

1 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Street Parade, Grand Boulevard and Main Street.

4-11 p.m.: Rock 'n' Roll Tribute Day.

7 p.m.: Native American Grand Entry.

SUNDAY

8 a.m.-3 p.m.: Gulfside Corvette Club Chasco Car, Truck & Bike Show, Orange Lake at Sims Park.

9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Flea Market, New Port Richey Recreation Center.

11 a.m.-6 p.m.: Native American Festival; Chasco Carnival; West Pasco Historical Society exhibit open at museum.

Noon-4 p.m.: Talent Search Showcase.

1 p.m.: Native American Grand Entry.

6-9 p.m.: Magical Night of Entertainment with Radio Disney.

MONDAY

To 10 p.m.: Native American Festival.

9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Flea Market, New Port Richey Recreation Center.

5-10 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-10 p.m.: Bluegrass Music.

TUESDAY

To 10 p.m.: Native American Festival.

9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Flea Market, New Port Richey Recreation Center.

5-10 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-10 p.m.: Dancing Under the Stars with the Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra; dance contests.

MARCH 28

To 10 p.m.: Native American Festival.

5-10 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-10 p.m.: Noche Latina (Latin Night).

MARCH 29

To 10 p.m.: Native American Festival.

5-10 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-10 p.m.: True Oldies with Tommy Mara and the Legends of Doo Wop and Joey Dee & the Starliters.

MARCH 30

9 a.m.-11 p.m.: Native American Festival.

1-4 p.m.: West Pasco Historical Society exhibit open at museum.

11:30 a.m.: Registration for Chasco Fiesta Golf Tournament, Beacon Woods Golf Club.

12:30 p.m.: Shotgun start of golf tournament.

5-11 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

6-11 p.m.: Contemporary Christian Family Night.

MARCH 31

7-8 a.m.: Registration (various fees) for bicycle tours and races, inline skate, Road Run, Fun Run and Walk, Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park.

8:15 a.m.: Races start.

7:30-8:30 a.m.: Registration and breakfast for Chasco kayak races, Crab Shack.

9 a.m.: Kayak races start, Cotee River at U.S. 19 bridge to Sims Park.

10 a.m.-11 p.m.: Native American Festival.

10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Children's Pageant/Contest, New Port Richey Recreation Center.

11 a.m.-6 p.m.: West Pasco Historical Society exhibit open at museum.

11 a.m.-11 p.m.: Chasco Carnival.

1 p.m.: Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade, Millers Bayou to Sims Park.

5:45 p.m.: Gates open for Chasco Fiesta Country Concert with Darryl Worley and Rodney Atkins. General admission is $15 in advance at the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce office, 5443 Main St., New Port Richey, or $25 at the gate; Golden Circle, $20 in advance, $30 at the gate, seating provided.

APRIL 1

11 a.m.-6 p.m.: Native American Festival; Chasco Carnival; West Pasco Historical Society museum open.

2-5 p.m.: Big Band Showcase.

[Last modified March 21, 2007, 01:13:52]


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