All hail the mighty poinciana, one of the world's most majestic and beautiful trees. Behold its gorgeous, flame-colored blossoms and spreading canopies at today's Royal Poinciana Fiesta. For 68 years locals have gathered to pay homage to this shade-providing floral wonder, making this annual celebration Miami's oldest continuously running festival.
Today tree huggers and beauty lovers are welcome to celebrate the grande dame of flowering trees at various locations throughout Coconut Grove. Begin with the official luncheon at the Chart House (51 Chart House Dr., Miami) at 11:30 a.m. For a mere $40 you can enjoy delicious seafood, watch the presentation of the Royal Poinciana Queen and her court, and celebrate the winner of the Larry Schokman Book Award. Next you can see the most spectacular poincianas on the trolley tour, one of the fiesta's most loved and well-attended events. The tour begins at 2:30 with a visit to the oldest poinciana tree at the Kampong, the lush and historic home of botanist David Fairchild, of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The tour costs $20 and wends around southern Miami, stopping at the most flamboyant trees for oohs, aahs, and picture taking. Reserve your spot by calling 305-789-7531. Visit www.tfts.org for more fiesta information and locations. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Get 'em while they're young
Young minds are like sponges, so you don't want them sitting around absorbing junk all summer. You can get your children out of the house and instill the importance of volunteerism by bringing them to the first Kids That Care Day at The Falls (8888 SW 136th St., South Miami-Dade) presented by The Mills Corporation and PBS Kids. More than twenty local charities and nonprofit organizations will gather in the mall's center court to share information about the services they provide. Representatives from the YMCA, Miami Children's Hospital, American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish of Southern Florida, and Alonzo Mourning Charities will discuss volunteer opportunities available for both children and adults. Families can also enjoy arts and crafts activities, balloon art, and face painting. And be sure to stroll by Crate & Barrel for demonstrations on how to make lemonade and ice cream. Teach your children about the gift of giving back to the community today from noon to 7:00. Call 305-255-4570, or visit www.shopthefalls.com. Nice Manners, Babe!
Pick up some mad etiquette skills
BY LYSSA OBERKRESER
Congratulations, graduates! You're done with the all-night study sessions and twenty-page research papers, but now you have to find a job. That fancy diploma might say you have the smarts to teach geometry or write witty advertising copy, but you still need the social skills to impress the boss. Lucky for you, the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove (3300 SW 27th Ave., Miami) has got your back. Etiquette expert Suzanne Willis will teach you proper dining behavior and how to survive a job interview during her workshop "Graduation Class: Business Etiquette and Dining Manners for the Graduate" tonight from 6:00 to 8:30. The class costs $100, which includes a three-course gourmet meal, taxes, and gratuities. Call 305-644-4675 for reservations. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Religion and Spirituali-tea
In Western culture, tea is simply a refreshing drink. In many Eastern cultures, tea is integral to mystical customs. Celebrate the spiritual properties of a cuppa with a Tibetan tea ceremony. Today monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery will share Buddhist ideology and tsampa, or Tibetan tea porridge. Sip and be enlightened at 4:00 at Theine, 119 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables. Admission costs $45. Call 305-774-0228, or visit www.theineteasalon.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik