All you dirty dogs out there need to come clean. Stop rubbing your furry heads in that dead fish mess and run over to the Barks and Bubbles Whole Foods Market Family Fun Day at the Humane Society of Greater Miami's Soffer and Fine Adoption Center (16101 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach). For a five-dollar donation, you can get soaped up and squeaky-clean before putting your paw in the ring for the best-looking wet dog contest. Or maybe you'd prefer to show your creative flair at the Paw Art booth. Your mom and dad can have you fitted with a microchip for only $20, and then they can enjoy free snacks and drinks while picking up tips at the obedience training demos. The suds will flow from 10:00 to 2:00, and the first 100 people will receive a complimentary T-shirt. Admission is free, but humans can show their appreciation of you little love muffins by bringing donations of canned puppy and kitten food, leashes, grooming supplies, durable toys, or those comfy and chew-proof Kuranda dog beds. Call 305-696-0800, or visit www.humanesocietymiami.org. --Lyssa Oberkreser
Yee Haw Function
We all know there's plenty of Latino fire in Miami-Dade, but what does a Southern girl have to do to get some country around here? Well, yee haw! Tonight you can bust out your best Stetson when Thunder Country (WCTH-FM 100.3) presents its Summer of the Red, White, and Blue Event at Gusto's Grill & Bar (326 SE First Ave., Florida City). This annual party features mechanical bull rides, a Homestead-Miami Speedway tire-changing challenge, and live music by Jason Thomas, Vickie Raye, and Cold Shot.
But the highlight of this hoedown is the sexy yet classy Boots and Bikinis Contest, in which country beauty and the beach meet to strut for a $1000 top prize. Ladies, this event is BYOB (bring your own boots), and points will be deducted for not wearing the proper footwear. "We used to have extra boots for the contestants to wear, but they kept walking off after the show," says event coordinator Adrienne Denaro. The boot-scootin' boogying runs from 7:00 to midnight. Admission is free. Call 305-245-8150, or visit www.thundercountry.com. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Fire Jump with Me
We'll take baked beans instead of slaw
Unlike "Devil's Night" in Detroit, where nasty pomo pagans torch abandoned buildings to experience the rush of destruction, the ancients used fire during their solar rites to embody the triumph of light over darkness. Like the old-school heathens before, many believers still celebrate the arrival of the summer solstice with a series of fire purification rituals to protect themselves against traffic tickets, IRS audits, and STDs.
Now in its third year, "Night of San Juan: A Celebration of Rituals & Traditions" invites revelers to render homage to the sun in Catalonian style and promises to rid them of maleficent influences and delight them in a baptism of food, booze, and performance mayhem. Guests may bring wood to stoke a bonfire to leap across for good luck, an egg for cleansing their auras, and an empty belly to fill with San Juan's famous "coca" cake made of fruits, pine nuts, and chicharrón.
The magic continues with Butoh Sumo Coleslaw Wrestling. This performance -- conceptualized by Hayley K. Downs, performed by New York's Anemone Dance Theater, and scored by sound artist Rene Barge -- is a vexing mixture of Japanese avant-garde dance and traditional wrestling. The seminude female wrestlers compete in a vat filled with 2000 pounds of shredded cabbage, 10 gallons of vegetable oil, and buckets of mayonnaise.
"Growing up in a bible-thumping backwater in Florida, no God-fearing person would attend such a satanic event," says Downs of the coleslaw wrestling matches inspiring the piece. "It was so scary and exotic that I just had to go." Get slawed tonight from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at the TransEAT/FoodCultureMuseum (2417 N. Miami Ave., Miami). Call 305-576-0406 or 305-324-0585. --Carlos Suarez de Jesus
Button up your guayabera and bailar at the Taste of the Tropics. Enjoy salsa music and feast on roasted pork, black beans and rice, and plantains as you sip mojitos and gaze at the skilled fingers of cigar rollers. Drink in the lush verdancy with a sunset tram tour. The party begins tonight at 7:00 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Miami. Admission is $45 in advance; $60 at the door. Call 305-667-1651, ext. 3377, or visit www.fairchildgarden.org. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Sure, we're lacking the killer waves and volcanoes, but today you can slip on a tropical shirt or grass skirt and sway with the palm trees at a Hawaiian luau sponsored by the Youth Ministry group of Christ the King Catholic Church (16000 SW 112 Ave., Southwest Miami-Dade). From 10:00 to 4:00, do the hula and enjoy music, games, prizes, and a variety of ethnic foods. Tickets cost $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Call 305-235-0293 or 305-238-2485. -- Lyssa Oberkreser