Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Spring Parade...Florida Style

Yesterday, was the annual Chasco Boat Parade, part of a spring time celebration in the town of New Port Richey, Florida. My bride hails from there and this is a chance to meet at my brother-n-laws riverside house for a great reunion feast and parade watchin' party. Pictured below are a couple of floats that DID make it under the or two did not.

The floats ranged from big cigarette boats to decorated canoes and kayaks. Almost every other float was playing Jimmy Buffet loudly, so I was pretty much in music heaven. Borrowing from Mardi Gras, the float riders/partiers tossed beads to the cheering throng. Unlike Mardi Gras, there was no other requirement to get beads...
One boat tossed frisbees, which was really sensible since most of the float riders had a hard time getting lightweight strands of beads to the people on the shore.


This fake palm was pretty impressive engineering.


The spaceman float above may be the only one not crowded with happy party crews. One boat was labeled "Disaster Response Team" in very official letters and one assumed that was the group they represented. The crew was all bikinis and tans with a keg of beer on board, so you had to wonder...were they a disaster rescue team for people who suddenly ran out of beer, or were they demonstrating how boating disasters can occur?
It might be fun to be rescued by them...

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This float was average except for the smoking volcano atop the boat. Gotta give them extra credit for that. Missing this year was the Hooters float. It was very popular last year...I think I still have the vision in my head...let me see, yes, there it is. Oh well, maybe next year they'll participate again.

Back on shore at my wonderful sister-n-laws home, a new crop of little cousins played and tumbled about, while the older ones got to go to a country music concert...Keith Anderson, Chad Brock, and Blake Shelton. They had special seats thanks to their "connected" uncles and they were thrilled. It was a busy day. The food menu at the house went something like this:
Perfectly fried skinless, boneless filets of mullet, Mom's datil pepper relish, hushpuppies, hot dogs, baked beans, Greek salad, BBQ chicken, potato salad, cookies, cake, and gallons of ice tea.

We drove down to New Port Richey with the top down on the Jeep in brilliant sunny 80 degree weather and drove home at midnight freezing our butts off in 60 degree weather...only 2 hours with a 65 mph wind...what's that windchill factor?

That's spring in Pure Florida.


ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi ich bin Chriswab aus Bottrop !! Viele Grüsse !!

Wayne said...

That's absolutely wonderful, truly they are floats. I know there are many holes in my background, so it doesn't surprise me that I've never encountered this. Thanks for the new experience.

Floridacracker said...

Guten morgen.

These floating parades are more common around the state at Christmas time. Then they are held at night with the rigging all lit with decorative lights.

roger said...

looks like fun.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Datil pepper relish. Yum. What a great family outing.

vicki said...

Sounds like a bang- up time was had by all. What fun! Maybe I'll try to catch that next year-a boat float parade sounds grand. We're hosting guests for the Grand Prix in St. Pete- who would know that our little bungalow would become prime real estate in our absence this week? The Snarl has front row seats from her window at the Hilton, where she works parttime as a baristat. She called a bit ago and is very excited about all those noisy cars zooming around.
P.S. It's 51 degrees, WCF

Floridacracker said...

It was fun, and it would have been a great time even if the parade hadn't shown up. Just good to be together.

The guy who fried the mullet owns a local seafood restaurant so his cooking was wonderful. The datil pepper relish was just icing on the cake.

You should catch it next year, St. Pete is just down the road. Sounds like you have a busy weekend planned.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

60º is the lowest temp that I will ride on a motorcycle...anything lower is too cold...of course we're dressed for it.

I've never seen a parade on water...that would really be interesting to see. It looks very colorful, and when you said they were throwing beads I was wondering how anyone could catch them. I think the frisbe idea was much better.

What a great time to have a family gathering while a parade is floating by. I think our temp today was around 75º so we went riding.

Thunder Dave said...

It was up to 60F here over the weekend and we broke out the shorts and dropped the top to enjoy a nice drive. It's all relative!

Mmmm, fried Mullet! Man that sounds good!

Floridacracker said...

It was!

threecollie said...

This sounds like the perfect gathering...ideal menu...beads, which are the only aspect of Mardi gras that I ever thought might be fun, just because I like beads...
And Jimmy Buffett (who almost never tours up here so we have only seen him live once) and friends and family, the whole enchilada so to speak. Thanks for sharing.

Floridacracker said...

It was a lot of fun and in truth, I'm usually so so about parades, but this was nice.

Buffet has gotten so expensive that even tho I used to go see him live, now I just listen on the Jeep stereo.

(My mom is a big Buffet fan...I actually took her to his concert once!)