tampabay.com

Seafood fest starts on water

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
Published May 12, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - The award-winning Cotee River Seafood Festival and Boat Show gets into full swing at 10 a.m. today in Sims Park as the kayak fun paddle takes off from the boat ramp behind the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, the arts and crafts village opens, the Miss Daisy pontoon boat starts 45-minute tours on the Cotee River, and vendors begin showing off their watercraft throughout Sims Park and around Orange Lake.

A second kayak race, for serious kayakers, starts at Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park, heads toward the mouth of the Cotee River and finishes at Sims Park. Call Salt Springs Alliance at (727) 816-1890 for details.

Except for the kayak races, all this keeps going until 6 p.m. today, and continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Today's live music starts on the amphitheater stage at 10:30 a.m, just as the food vendors start selling seafood and festival fare.

Admittance into the big Blues by the River concert starts at 3:30 p.m. ($5 no chair provided, $7 with chair provided), with bluesman Bill "Sauce Boss" Wharton taking the stage at 9 p.m. Wharton is preceded by Corey Harris and the 5 x 5 Band at 7:15 p.m., Julie Black and Angel for Blues at 5:45 p.m. and John Allen & the Cotton Gin Band at 4 p.m.

Also today is the Suncoast Corvette Club's Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Circle Boulevard by Sims Park. Registration is $15 from 9 a.m. to noon. Winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m.

Sunday features music all day in the Rockin' by the River Concert, featuring Late Night Brass.

Both days have several presentations of the kids' show "Fishing For Laughs" by Curt "The Bassmeister" Strutz (first show at noon).

Admission to the festival is free, but a $2 donation will be solicited to be used as seed money for future events that are also sponsored by Greater New Port Richey Main Street.

Meanwhile, the Richey Suncoast Theatre production of The Music Man continues at 8 p.m. today and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The theater is at 6239 Grand Blvd. Tickets are $15. Box office is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and an hour before each show. Call (727) 842-6777.