Chasco Fiesta is a traditional Native American festival held annually during spring in New Port Richey, FL. It is a family oriented event that features Native American festivities, a carnival, parades and concerts. The event has been a cultural tradition in the Southwest Florida town since it was first created in 1947 to raise money for the community. Sixty-eight years later it has a similar goal, and it provides some great cultural exposure to young children. Many Native Americans set up shops for the festival where they sell jewelry, wooden hand-carved weapons and other art. They also provide shows such as traditional Native American dances and display hawks that can perform tricks. While kids can enjoy these shows, various other events are going on for parents to participate in. Nightly concerts by popular local bands are also on the schedule as well as a carnival. Food is also plenty at the Chasco Fiesta where local high schools set up tents and trucks to sell funnel cakes and other goodies to raise money for their schools. Being that the Fiesta is such an integral part of New Port Richey, it takes place on New Port Richey’s Main Street; the heart of the city.
Detour signs are displayed across Main Street in New Port Richey, Fla. that locals recognize as the beginning of Chasco Fiesta. The Festival lasted nine days this year and began March 22, 2014. Photos taken March 29, 2014. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj.
A shop is set up by a Native American man who creates re-creates genuine Native American woodwork, tools, weapons and jewelry. The shop profits help Native American citizens in the area as well as the community. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj
Ridgewood; a local high school in New Port Richey has a vending stand that sells typical carnival refreshments like funnel cake. The proceeds of this stand as well as the stands of three other high schools go to the respective high schools and marching band programs within the school. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj
Locals gather as a local country band opens up for a bigger act to follow in a few hours. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj
Chasco Fiesta features a typical carnival amongst its festivities. The ferris wheel is the most popular ride, strategically placed next to the breathtaking Sims Park River. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj
A couple enjoys the scenery of the Pithlachascotee River. The fiesta received its name from the river it was located on. The festival attracts people of all ages. MMC2100/ Jelena Dopudj