Over the course of the last three weekends, we have had four VERY different events in New Port Richey.
The first event was the Gearlink Criterium Series. This featured a day of bicycle races around New Port Richey. It was a cool event to watch, although it didn’t get nearly enough publicity.
The second event was the return of Bike Fest and featured everything a motorcycle enthusiast could dream of. By all accounts, thousands of motorcycle riders descended on New Port Richey for a weekend of motorcycles, music, and fun. I don’t own a motorcycle, but still found my way to Sims Park to hear some great music.
This past Saturday we had a pair of events: An art walk on Grand Blvd south of Main Street and a family day featuring “trunk or treat” around Orange Lake, followed by a family movie in Sims Park.
Despite claims that beer sales are necessary to draw people to events in the park, I’m pretty sure that there were more people in the park for the family movie than were in attendance for the excellent music that was part of Bike Fest the previous Sunday afternoon.
The Art Walk was interesting and I’d love to see more events like this. It was classy and provided a showcase for our local artist community. It was also relatively low cost to pull off. There were no street closures or other major expenses involved. Music was provided by the Gulf High Jazz Band. Although smaller, it drew a respectable crowd.
I like the idea of sidewalk events because it offers the opportunity for folks to wander into the neighboring stores (eg. Karens Gifts) while they are taking in the stuff on the sidewalks. We enjoyed the Art Walk with some friends and then walked over to Mezzaluna’s for lunch.
Also this past week, Main Street’s “Hospitality Management Association” started publicizing its plans for monthly street parties: https://www.facebook.com/whatsupdowntownNPR. I am hopeful this means that they will start taking advantage of the city’s investment in Railroad Square to build a series of “mini-events” that will draw folks downtown to dine and enjoy themselves.
There are quite a few events scheduled between now and the end of the year. No matter what your tastes, I’m pretty sure you’ll find something to do downtown on Saturdays.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor