NEW PORT RICHEY -
It’s that time of year again.
Chasco Fiesta, a multiday festival that has become a West Pasco tradition, has begun its 2013 edition with a carnival, Native American powwow and festival, Lighthouse Coronation Ball and Contemporary Christian Music Family Night.
The city of New Port Richey came close to denying funds for special events this year, including Chasco Fiesta, because of cutbacks to city staff and budgets. Most Chasco Fiesta events take place within or around the city’s Sims Park.
In 2012, the budget for the festival was cut to about $26,000, but four times as much has been spent in the past on the event. The festival cut expenses last year by reducing the festival to nine days from 11 and by having more volunteers handle tasks that city officials used to oversee.
The festival will continue this trend and will run April 5 through April 13 along the Pithlachascotee River in downtown New Port Richey.
Two new events added for the 2012 festival will return this year: a pet adoption fair and youth music showcase with performances from students at local schools.
Events are still being added and those listed on the website may be rearranged, said Dana Goodwin, a member of the Chasco Fiesta Committee.
Here are some highlights:
The Chasco Festival Carnival, April 5-13, adjacent to Sims Park on Bank Street. The midway has a special area for children’s rides. Wristbands are $15 Monday through Thursday, and $20 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Native American Powwow and Festival, April 5-7, in Sims Park. American Indian dancers from all over the country will participate in various styles of dancing, including a Grand Entry and a Warrior on Horseback presentation. There will also be Native American vendors and a performance by Arvel Bird.
Lighthouse Coronation Ball, April 5, at Spartan Manor. A new King Pithla and Queen Chasco will be crowned for their dedication and commitment to the community. Tickets are $100 per person and the net proceeds from this event assist the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind.
Chasco Fiesta Street Parade, April 6, in Downtown New Port Richey. Join the second largest street parade on the Suncoast, which is organized by the Holiday Rotary Club. There are about 140 floats this year and the theme for 2013 is Viva FL 500, commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Florida.
Chasco Fiesta Boat Parade, April 13, which takes place on the Pithlachascotee River, from Millers Bayou, in Port Richey, to Sims Park. This year the theme is “Celebrate Your Passion,” and the Grand Prize for the best boat float is $2,500.
Pet Adoption Fair, April 13, at Orange Lake Park. Locally rescued animals will be at the Chasco Fiesta Pet Adoption Fair, along with on how to help. There will also be pet-related vendors as well.
For a full schedule of events and details, visit www.chascofiesta.com