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Main Street Blast kicked off patriotic holiday


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Many spectators had a blast during the Friendly KIAfest Main Street Blast.

The pre-Fourth of July festivities last weekend drew an estimated 25,000 visitors to Sims Park and Orange Lake in downtown New Port Richey, Judy DeBella Thomas reports as executive director of Greater New Port Richey Main Street. The nonprofit group stages the annual event.

The weather cooperated for the grand finale fireworks show, which drew many appreciative ooo-oos and aa-ahs from the crowd.

The new benefit, the Walgreen’s Be The Match Friendly KIA Trolley Pull, drew 13 teams.

With a time of 14 seconds, the New Port Richey Recreation and Aquatic Center team claimed first place. Smiles by Graff Orthodontics sponsored the cash prize of $500 for the winners.

The recreation center team donated the prize money to Toys for Tots, the annual campaign to provide Christmas presents to needy youngsters.

All proceeds, nearly $1,900 from registration fees, went to Be a Match, the program to find donors to patients waiting for marrow transplants. Every year, some 10,000 patients need a transplant, but have no donor match in their family.

Second place, at 17.5 seconds, went to the Champions team from the new Wellness Walgreens in Land O’ Lakes.

The third fastest team, at 19.2 seconds, came from Holiday Rotary Club.

The trolley weighs 10,180 pounds, plus some 20 children riding the trolley and the driver.

Meanwhile, Friendly KIA announced the winner of a car. Jennifer Taylor of Spring Hill later claimed her prize at the dealership from owner John Gilliss.

Main Street Blast would not have been possible without the aid of some 75 volunteers, Thomas said Tuesday night.

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