It's Thanksgiving and you're home. You have yet to stuff your face with turkey and all the other stuff, and the last thing you want to do is sit around watching that damn Macy's parade on TV. For a change, why not go to North Miami's WinterNational Parade and see a festive procession in real life? Real floats, real marching bands, real costumed characters, real Shriners in those kooky little cars, real elves, real Santa Claus. (Oops, cancel that last item. The Santa is not real.) The theme is "Tropical Treasures," but if you're lucky, there will be a nip in the air and you won't sweat like a pig. One thing you can surely count on, unlike that dangerous parade in New York City: You won't get bonked on the head by an errant giant balloon! Now who says Miami is more dangerous than New York? The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. and travels east on NE 125th Street from Sixth to Twelfth avenues. Admission is free. Call 305-893-6211.
We're two days into the sprawling event known as White Party Week, but do you know where your pristine ivory outfit is? What began fourteen years ago as a one-night affair at a private home in the Grove stretched into a weekend a few years back and recently exploded into an entire week of events benefiting Community AIDS Resource. Heck, now they even have their own commemorative artwork, a painting called Sueno Blanco (White Dream) by Cuban-born artist Noel. What to expect during the week: lots of dance parties featuring major DJs such as New York City's Junior Vasquez, locals Abel, David Knapp, Victor Calderone, and former Miamian (and Vasquez rival) Danny Tenaglia spinning at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Warsaw Ballroom, Salvation, Liquid, and more. (Tenaglia appears at Shadow Lounge, 1532 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, beginning at 11:00 tonight.) The big event to attend, however, is the Sunday fete from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. at Vizcaya (3251 S. Miami Ave.), where Knapp will reign. Tickets for the White Party and packages for White Party Week (hurry, they go quickly) range from $150 to $400. Call 800-494-8497. See "Calendar Events," page 38, for details about other events.
It's the day after Thanksgiving and you're still home. Most of the world, though, thinks you should be someplace else -- the mall! Fortunately the organizers of the Lumpy Sue Acoustic Music Fest believe otherwise. For the past seventeen years, they have held a post-Thanksgiving, all-day music marathon featuring some of the best acts in town, all of them in acoustic mode. This year they continue the tradition. Bring your blanket to Greynolds Park (17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach) any time between 11:30 a.m. and sundown and catch performances by Diane Ward, Magda Hiller, Me and the Blue Dog, the Crocodiles, Iko-Iko, Marie Nofsinger, Rat Falestra, and many others. Bring some money too. A long list of merchants have donated prizes for a raffle, proceeds of which will benefit Habitiat for Humanity. You may want to pack a picnic lunch. But if you get there early enough, you'll be able to get your hands on some free bagels. (You'll have to bring your own cream cheese, though.) Admission is free; parking costs two dollars. Call 305-933-1974.
Ever since you moved to Miami, you've had your heart set on tackling the Doral's ultra-demanding Blue Monster golf course. But you've never had the big bucks to pay the greens fees and have never managed to squeeze into the Doral Ryder Open. Here's your chance. One hitch: Your visit will be in the dark, and if you smack a ball, you may shatter some glass as the grounds and course will be covered with nearly a half million twinkling lights. This weekend the Doral Golf Resort and Spa (4400 NW 87th Ave.) presents Magical Nights of Lights. Hop on a horse-drawn carriage, which will whisk you through a path filled with sparkling toy soldiers, candy canes, elves, gingerbread men, reindeer, and peacocks. You'll arrive at an enchanted village featuring a petting zoo, storytelling, a holiday choir, a 50-foot Christmas tree, and Santa Claus. So what if you don't get to play eighteen holes. You're in the Christmas spirit now, right? Hey, no need to get nasty. Put that nine iron down! Magical Nights is open from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday through January 3. Admission is ten dollars, and each week a portion of the proceeds will benefit a different charity, including Family Resource Center, Miami Children's Hospital, and the Diabetes Research Institute. Call 305-592-2000.
Okay, if pretty holiday lights didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy, maybe some music will do the trick. The Miami Bach Society, under the direction of Donald Ogelsby, presents Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio today at 4:00 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (North Bayshore Drive at 16th Street). The masterpiece, written in 1734, comprises six cantatas, four of which will be performed in honor of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany. Vocalists include Steven Rickards, Christopher Cock, James Bass, and Rebecca Ricker. Tickets range from $10 to $20. Call 305-669-1376.
A resident of South Florida and professor of economics at Philadelphia's St. Joseph University, Milica Bookman is the author of The Demographic Struggle for Power: The Political Economy of Demographic Engineering in the Modern World. What appears to be a dense treatise is really a lively examination of how ethnic groups struggle for territory and control of resources. Sounds as if it should be required reading for all Miamians. Bookman discusses her book at 8:00 tonight at Books & Books, 296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408.
Erstwhile Miamian, Artforum publisher, museum curator, and now New York gallery owner Charles Cowles began collecting photographs more than 30 years ago. See 182 significant pieces from his vast assemblage of works in Focus on Photography: Dream Collection ... Part Four, another installment in a series of exhibitions at the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.) that displays its wish list for a permanent collection. The pictures, covering the period from 1901 to 1998, offer a look at various photographic movements from pictorialism to postmodernism and include works by greats Eugene Atget, Man Ray, Margaret Bourke-White, Edward Steichen, Cindy Sherman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and more. The show runs through May 2, 1999. Admission is five dollars. Call 305-375-3000.
Call Woody Graber the hardest-working man in local music. The veteran promoter and PR man has booked countless acts into some of Miami's finest (former) live-music venues: the Island Club, Woody's (named for Ron Wood, not Graber), Stephen Talkhouse, Stella Blue, and more. Now he's at it again, playing emergency medical technician to Miami's withering music scene. Graber's latest attempt at resuscitation: Live Music Wednesdays, a showcase for local, regional, and national talent at the Chili Pepper in the Streets of Mayfair (3339 Virginia St., Coconut Grove). Manchild performed last week. Tonight at 9:00 Refried Confusion, a dynamic funk band from Gainesville, takes the stage. NRBQ, Fulano de Tal, and Big Sky are among the groups scheduled for future dates. The Pepper will rock on other nights as well. A special show this Sunday features reggae legends Third World. Cover charge is $3 for tonight's show and $15 on Sunday. Call 305-442-2228.