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Make some patriotic plans

Fun is all around as weekend events kick off the Independence Day revelry.

By Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 28, 2001

Fun is all around as weekend events kick off the Independence Day revelry.

So what if Independence Day isn't until Wednesday? There still will be plenty of patriotic celebrating going on this weekend.

New Port Richey and Old Homosassa start the fun Saturday with free festivals. Tampa and Clearwater join in with celebrations beginning Tuesday. On Wednesday, lots of cities get into the act, from Gulfport to Crystal River. See the Getaways calendar on Page XXW for details on those events.

The Homosassa Revolutionary River Blast begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the resorts along the Homosassa River: Macrae's Resort, Kibby's Dockside, Seagrass Pub, the Homosassa Riverside Resort and other locations. River taxis will run between all areas all day.

All the activities have a patriotic theme, including a decorated bike and trike contest, a patriotic bathing suit contest and a red-white-and-blue beer belly contest. There's a poker run for decorated watercraft beginning at 1 p.m. at Magic Manatee Marine with a $5 entry fee.

A decorated boat parade follows the poker run, which concludes at 7 p.m. Fireworks cap off the evening after the parade. For information, call (352) 634-2150.

The Main Street Blast in New Port Richey kicks off at 4 p.m. Saturday in Sims Park with hay rides, games and family activities.

Organizers are encouraging people to bring blankets and lawn chairs and picnic as they listen to an afternoon of country music. Food will be available for purchase.

The country music starts at 4 p.m. with Brandy Lynn Halkett and the Authorities, followed by John Wayne Wilkinson. Rebel Pride follows at 5:30, then headliner Wiley Fox at 7:30.

The fireworks over Orange Lake are scheduled for about 9:30.

For information, call (727) 842-8066.

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