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The 2005 Chasco Fiesta features 11 days' worth of family-friendly activities and entertainment along the banks of the lovely Pithlachascotee River in downtown New Port Richey. Visitors can launch or watch decorated watercrafts in the boat parade, observe a conventional Native-American festival, and attend one of New Port Richey's largest street parades. Other Chasco diversions include the Lighthouse Coronation Ball; a world-record beef barbecue; live concerts (by Bill Miller, Bertie Higgins, and Orquesta Infinidad, to name a few); a street carnival; an arts and crafts show; and golf and softball tournaments. March 3-13. Performances and events occur in and around Sims Park, located at Main and Bank streets. Call 727-842-7651 or go to www.chascofiesta.com for more information.

The Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa has attracted hundreds of thousands of gawkers for the past 35 years with its diverse and consistently high-quality, juried artwork. A wide range of media by more than 300 artists is showcased, including paintings, watercolors, drawings, graphics, ceramics, jewelry, photography and sculpture. Attendees can also enjoy live entertainment by local and regional artists, hands-on children's activities and an assortment of yummy eats. March 5 and 6. The festival takes place at Lykes Gaslight Park, located on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa. Call 813-248-0271 or go to www.gasparilla-arts.com for more information.

-Leilani Polk

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