This weekend was New Port Richey’s annual KIAFest / Main Street Blast, produced by Greater New Port Richey Main Street. It featured music, food, cars, a trolley pull, and it was capped off with fireworks Saturday night. This year’s event was centered on the downtown / Railroad Square area due to Sims Park being closed for construction.
We wandered around a bit Friday night after having dinner at the Market Off Main. It was hot, brutally hot, so we didn’t stay too long. That’s too bad, because the Black Honkeys were the featured performers Friday night and I love to watch their concerts.
Saturday afternoon actually seemed a little better in the temperature department. I caught the trolley pull, which was conducted right outside the front door of my store. I’m pleased to report that the team fielded by the New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department took first place for the second year in a row.
There was some discontent among the local bars because of Main Street’s positioning of beer trucks right across the street from the local watering holes. One such establishment got in the spirit of things by placing an A frame sign on the sidewalk right across from the beer truck staying “support your local businesses” and offering beer at lower prices than offered by Main Street’s beer truck. They didn’t mention that they ALSO offered air conditioning and a place to sit down, but they certainly could have.
There is something to be said for centering events like this in and around Railroad Square instead of in the park. All too often, event attendees go straight to the park and then straight home without checking out the local businesses. The local businesses get a LOT more exposure when the event is right in front of their entrance.
The fireworks were awesome. After spending the entire day downtown, I went home for supper and my wife and I enjoyed watching the fireworks through the windows.
I got quite a few positive comments at church Sunday morning about how great the event was. Definite kudos to the entire Greater New Port Richey crew for pulling off a great event.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor