Gill Dawg is excited to announce what is sure to become one of Florida’s premier paddlesport and craft brew festivals, Pasco Paddlepalooza, April 25-27, 2014. Gill Dawg is holding this event in partnership with New Belgium Brewing, Visit Pasco, City of Port Richey and New Port Richey Main Street. The event is designed to showcase all that West Pasco County has to offer an action-packed weekend of outdoor activities.
Pasco Paddlepalooza is scheduled for Friday, April 25th through Sunday, April 27th, and is being coordinated in conjunction with the Cotee River Seafood and Blues Festival in New Port Richey. The weekend will kickoff with Paddler’s Rendezvous on Friday night with a sunset paddle and live music at both Gill Dawg and the Cotee River Seafood and Blues Festival. Water and land shuttles will be available for festival attendees between locations all weekend.
On Saturday morning the first of the three paddlesport competitions will be held with Paddling Pasco’s 2nd Annual Durney Key Challenge. The Durney Key Challenge is very unique 2.3 mile paddling race around the famous stilt houses, starting and ending on a small island called Durney Key, off the Pithlachascotee (Cotee) River in Port Richey, Pasco County FL. Within the course are 10 challenges or obstacles which will test endurance, paddling skills and speed. Proceeds raised from the Durney Key Challenge will go to creating youth scholarship opportunities.
After a morning on the water, the focus will switch over to the Friendly KIA’s Stilt House Craft Beer Festival. Participants will enjoy tasting some of Florida’s finest craft brews while listening to live music and visiting with brewers, local artisans and craft vendors at Gill Dawg Event Center. The proceeds from the Stilt House Craft Beer Festival will go to a local children’s shelter.
On Sunday, April 27 two races will be held, the Salt Springs Classic in the morning, and the Battle In The Bayou Dragon Boat Race in the afternoon. The Salt Springs Classic features races for both kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Kayak racers will paddle 5-1/2 miles from the scenic lagoons and inlets of Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park through the open Gulf of Mexico waters and up the Pithlachascotee River to Jasmine Park, then paddle downstream to finish at Gill Dawg Marina at Miller’s Bayou. Intermediate and expert kayakers are invited to test their skills against some of the best racers – with the record for the course being just under 48 minutes. SUP racers and fun paddlers will have a shorter 3-1/4 mile course taking them directly to the finish line at Gill Dawg Marina. The proceeds of the Salt Springs Classic goes to supporting Salt Springs Alliance’s efforts to promote and improve Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park.
Also on Sunday, April 27, is Battle in the Bayou Port Richey Dragon Boat Festival, which will will take place at Waterfront Park on Millers Bayou in Port Richey. After an exciting day of team races, there will be awards, food, beer and live entertainment on the Wayne’s World stage at Gill Dawg. People are invited to form teams, whether it’s a company, organization or a group of friends.
Pasco Paddlepalooza organizers are offering many ways to get involved in this new event that highlights the natural assets of Pasco County, and the communities of New Port Richey and Port Richey. They are seeking vendors, sponsors and volunteers to work at the various venues and events.
More information about Pasco Paddlepalooza races, events and volunteer opportunties can be found at www.pascopaddlepalooza.com or inquiries may be emailed to [email protected], or by calling Gill Dawg at 727-842-1070.