It's turkey day. Thanksgiving, that double-bladed holiday where you are supposed to honor the good things in life, such as family, friends, and good food. You get a long weekend, decent weather, and all you can do is hang around the house smelling the roasting bird and other goodies. Trouble is you're usually surrounded by family. Those people who still harbor deep-seated feelings related to pecking order, respect, and all-out jealousy. Instead of trapping yourself in closed quarters, take a break from the tyranny of the table. Grab a nephew or niece and head out to the 29th Annual Winternational Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's a small-town event that winds along NE 125th Street through downtown North Miami. You can get a gander at other folks who don't share your DNA or your personal history. At least until dinner time, you can enjoy the day without suffocating on the warm seasonal aroma or the "love." The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. Admission is free. Call 305-893-6511.
Friday 11/28 It's time to do math. There are nine artists using at least six different mediums revealing new works the fourth Friday of the eleventh month in a gallery that is just two years old. There will be no quiz. No riddle. No formula. Only a name: "Vol. 3 No. 2," a group exhibition at North Miami's Leonard Tachmes Gallery (817 NE 125th St.). The event features the works of Rebecca Guarda, Norman Liebman, Maritza Molina, Tall Rickards, Leyden Rodriguez-Cassanova, Matt Rush, Frances Trombly, Carlos de Villasante, and Tom Virgin. The works are cool and innovative and they hold untold truths that may take some time to figure out. That is, if they're saying anything at all. The opening starts at 7:00 p.m. and the show runs through January 17, 2004. Call 305-895-1030.
Lila Downs has perhaps the most powerful voice to blend heartache and human struggle with beauty, passion, and a resolute will. Downs, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, to a Mixtec mother and Scottish father, has taken the international music scene by storm. Her appearances in the film Frida and at last year's Academy Awards have helped bolster her surge. While much of her music is based in the traditional styling of Mexican rancheras, Downs remains committed to forging new ground singing about socially and politically relevant themes. She appears tonight as part of Miami Dade College's Cultura Del Lobo Performance Series at 8:00 at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St. Tickets range from $18 to $32. Call 305-237-3010.
You've been working out all year for this party. If you have a pair of designer tighty-whities, now is the time to break them out. The event is none other than The White Party,in its nineteeth year the chief fundraising event for South Florida's largest AIDS/HIV nonprofit organization, Care Resource. This year's affair takes place at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave.) and pays homage to the Roaring Twenties. So there will be countless Erte divas roaming around in Art Deco styles, Josephine Baker wannabes, and flappers and Gatsby types. Still there will be plenty of buff muscle guys in tiny white Lycra milling about. A tip for the glitterati: If you hang out by the museum's dock, you might get an invitation to a party on a parked yacht. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission costs $150. Call 305-576-1234.
Monday 12/1 As you read this, somewhere in the world, or perhaps in your neighborhood, somebody is being infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. It's an important thing to consider, especially on World AIDS Day. After more than twenty years, the disease has morphed from an all-out scare to a near whisper as treatment continues to be improved and more people with AIDS are living longer and more productive lives. Still, the threat is a very real one, and there remains much hysteria around it. To help answer questions, as well as conduct free on-the-spot screenings for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, the folks at South Beach AIDS Project are holding an open house featuring counselors and public health experts. The open house begins at noon and runs through 8:00 at South Beach AIDS Project, 306 Lincoln Rd. Admission is free. Call 305-532-1033.
Even though you may not be an old fuddy-duddy, chances are you know and love some of the songs of the 1950s doo-wop group the Drifters. What karaoke night would be complete without some drunken slug singing "Under the Boardwalk," "Save the Last Dance For Me," or "Up On the Roof"? Nostalgia buffs, brace yourselves. The Drifters will be playing a club date at the grown-up Biltmore Hotel Cellar Club (1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables). You'll be swayed not only by the divine harmonies but by the spirits of good wine and the club's intimate setting. The concert starts at 9:00 p.m. Tickets cost $65 and $85. Call 305-913-3204.
We're not sure how this works, but somehow the crafty marketers at Dolphin Mall found a way to make it snow indoors. Now that sounds like a neat-o thing, especially if you're a kid from Kendall who's never seen the white frosty stuff. According to the press release, kids under twelve will be able to make it snow by waving special magic wands that will be handed out to them. We don't know exactly what the chemical makeup is of the material that will be falling, but considering it probably contains freon or other toxic chemical, catching "snowflakes" in your mouth may not be advisable. But who knows? It is that "magic" time of year. After all, it will be snowing indoors. In Miami. And no LSD is involved. Isn't that cool? Catch the snow nightly at 7:00 and at 9:00 on weekends at Dolphin Mall, 11250 NW 25th St. Admission is free.