Hey, buddy. Don't even think about heading to the Keys this week. It's ladies' night every night during Womenfest Key West 2005. More than 4000 women are expected to converge for parties, contests, and art shows today through Sunday, September 11. Celebrating eighteen years of partying in the southernmost point, Womenfest is the festival for lesbians and the girls who dig them the most. But there's more to Womenfest than group showers and tickle fights. Here's a rubdown -- er, we mean rundown -- of the festival highlights:
What lesbian fest would be complete without a golf tournament? The second annual Southernmost Women's Invitational Nonprofit Golf Tournament tees off at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 8, at the Key West Golf Course (6450 College Rd.). The $75 per player entry fee includes all greens fees, a box lunch, a gift bag, and Jell-O shots on the course. Hell yeah! There's an afterparty awards ceremony, loads of prizes, and all proceeds benefit the Womankind, Inc. healthcare agency. Call 305-294-1445, or visit www.swingkeywest.com to register.
Political humorist and author of What the L?, lesbian comedian Kate Clinton, is set to take the stage for two hilarious shows at 7:00 and 8:30 Friday, September 9, at the Louie Carbonell Teen Center Building (3465 S. Roosevelt Blvd.). Each show is preceded by a cocktail reception. Call 305-296-2491, ext. 305, for ticket prices.
For girls who aren't afraid to show a little skin, go crazy for cash and prizes during the Atlantic Shores annual Wet T-shirt Contest at the Atlantic Shores Resort Pool (510 South St.; 305-296-2491) beginning at 2:00 Saturday, September 10. Then from 4:00 to 7:00, you can participate in Pearl's Happy Hour Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bikini Contest at Pearl's Rainbow (525 United St.; 305-292-1450).
On Sunday, September 11, Pearl's is also hosting the Group Commitment Ceremony at 1:00. Officiated by Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley, the celebration costs $60 per couple ($25 for each additional guest) and includes a certificate of union, champagne, and a buffet brunch. Call 1-888-324-2996, or visit www.womenfest.com for a complete schedule and event locations. --Lyssa Oberkreser
In da House
Pimp your casa
For the amount of money houses cost in Miami these days, one would expect that the properties for sale already come fully remodeled, landscaped, and tricked out with brand-new kitchen appliances. That's not the typical case though. For inspiring lessons about how to improve your new investment yourself, visit the Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show. Get tips during informative seminars presented by famous home designers, including Evette Rios and Franzella Guido from In a Fix, as well as risky Trading Spaces interior decorator Hildi Santo Tomás. Haven't bought or sold a home yet? Dennis Haber will be on hand for "Know Your Rights as a Real Estate Buyer/Seller." After you learn from the pros, browse the amazing displays of unique imported and custom furniture and the latest in gardening innovations, security systems, lighting, flooring, and home electronics. The Miami Home Design and Remodeling Show runs tonight through Tuesday, September 6, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1700 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach. Admission is nine dollars. Call 305-667-9299, or visit www.homeshowspecials.com for a complete schedule and a coupon to save one dollar off admission. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Mother Nature Boy
Act like a tree and find relief
As a boy in Jamaica, Chet Alexander remembers forays into the bush with a neighbor, a grandfatherly sort known simply as "Bredda Man." On one memorable occasion, the older man plucked a hornets' nest and carried it into the forest, apparently without becoming disfigured for life or even stung. Today Alexander lives in Miami, but he has made a written study of the physical and emotional control he learned from Bredda Man. Perhaps you aren't the sort to tote around hornets' nests, much less approach one without protective netting, insecticide, and maybe a suit of armor -- but that doesn't mean, at least to Alexander, advice about connecting to nature and controlling your emotions wouldn't be helpful. "Self-knowledge attained through reverent communion with nature" is what Alexander is offering in his new book, John Crow Speaks: The Earth Teachings of the Jamaican Elders, from which he will read tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-442-4408, or visit www.booksandbooks.com. --Emily Witt
All's Fair in Art
Postponed by hurricane Frances last year, the Las Olas Labor Day Weekend Art Fair roars back with a smorgasbord for those who savor their aesthetic experiences alfresco. In its eighteenth year, the festival -- held outdoors along Las Olas Boulevard from SE Sixth Avenue to Eleventh Avenue -- features the work of nearly 200 artists whose delectable confections "cater to the broadest range of tastes," according to organizers.
Expect a balanced buffet of offerings with prices ranging from "I'll take three of those!" to a wallet-walloping $10,000 for bolder art gourmands. The exhibition is a traditional attraction where families promenade among the scintillating displays and peruse a cornucopia of paintings, photographs, sculptures, ceramics, and fused glass in an end-of-summer ritual. "There's live music, and outdoor cafés showcase their specialties; it's the perfect time to shake off the cabin fever and hit the outdoors before the snowbirds arrive," says organizer Howard Alan. The free fair is open 10:00 to 6:00 today, 10:00 to 5:00 Sunday. Call 954-472-3755, or visit www.artfestival.com. -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus