Pasco EcoFest is returning this year to bring people out to West Pasco parks and other natural attractions.
EcoFest is a multi-day festival that puts a spotlight on West Pasco County‘s natural spaces and what you can do in and around them.
This will be the second EcoFest. The inaugural festival was held last year.
This year’s festival is Nov. 9, 10 and 11 and seeks to draw folks to coastal parks and also inland attractions that are in New Port Richey and the surrounding area.
This year’s festival is still taking shape, but among the fun things to be featured are kayaking, bird watching, hiking, and riverboat rides, fishing, horseback riding, drum circles, hooping and dancing on the beach, a food truck rally, eco market, educational workshops and talks, a pet adoption fair and a geo-caching challenge, organizers say.
The festival this year will be spread out across several parks in the county, including Key Vista, Anclote Gulf, Anclote River park, the Energy Marine Center, the Nature Center in Starkey Park and Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. Anclote Key State Preserve in Pinellas County is also included.
"It's a way to showcase our county," said Paul Herman, a volunteer who is leading the geocaching activity.
Planners made an effort this year to incorporate New Port Richey locations in the festival.
There will be a variety activities at parks and other spaces in New Port Richey, like Peace Hall, Sims Park, the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center, Francis Avenue Park and the New Port Richey Public Library.
Lia Gallegos, half the team doing public relations for the festival, said the event is kind of a marketing and promotion campaign for the city. There are still a lot of people who don't know New Port Richey has a historic downtown and 11 public parks.
"People need to know what we have up here in Pasco County," Gallegos said. "It's more than what you see on U.S. 19 when you're shooting on through."
One of the featured attractions of the festival this year is an exhibit of bird and wildlife artwork by the West Pasco Art Guild and the Progress Energy Art Gallery at Peace Hall, which is across from Sims Park in downtown New Port Richey.
Kira and Kacey Atkinson, two longtime New Port Richey residents, are helming the festival this year.
They’re working with the Pasco County Tourist Development Council, New Port Richey city government, local businesses and a group of committed volunteers to make the festival a reality.
Fine Arts of the Suncoast and Greater New Port Richey Main Street are producing the festival this year, with public relations services by deChant Public Relations.
Stick with Patch for details as the schedule is finalized, and check out our feature on the two sisters masterminding this year's events.