Fast jets and big ships
As the punk rockers say, loud fast rules. The McDonald's Air & Sea Show is about as loud and fast as it gets. The two-day event (today and Sunday from 9:00 to 5:00) features enough firepower to turn a country like, say, Iraq into ... well, you know. Four miles of Fort Lauderdale Beach (with action centered between Oakland Park Boulevard and Las Olas Boulevard) provides the front for military (all five branches) and civilian demonstrations that go a long way toward explaining why your income taxes are so high. Billed as the largest spectator event in the world, the show draws an estimated four million souls who crane their necks and risk their retinas to enjoy a view of the most advanced jets the public is allowed to know of. Among the many cool sky scorchers will be the new F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, which might be disappointing: If you can see it, it isn't too stealthy. In addition to the winged wonders there will be aerobatics, parachutists (the famous Golden Knights and the Navy's Leap Frogs), amphibious vehicles, powerboats, and a full-gear sea-to-shore invasion by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Admission is free. Call 954-527-5600, or visit www.airseashow.com. --Greg Baker
Sizzling music in the park
The collapse of a nation's economy can have an upside, a troubling fact proven by the Argentine Festival, inspired by the influx of thousands of immigrants who arrived in South Florida after their beautiful and complex country went bust. Of course everyone else gets to enjoy the fete, which will pack Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) today from noon to midnight. One thing for which Argentina is rightly famous is its buoyant culture, on display at this event with a bounty of live music, killer food, spontaneous dancing (just try to resist), and more. The party will be capped with a fireworks show. The whole affair serves as yet another reminder of one of Miami's best attributes: how easy it is for denizens to travel the world without leaving their own back yard. Advance tickets cost $15; $20 at the gate. Call 305-358-9911, or visit www.festivalargentino.com. --Greg Baker
Masked and Fabulous
A costumed gala and Phantom star
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Halloween in April couldn't be more fun unless it were on April Fools' Day itself. Masquerade, the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce 49th Annual Installation Ball, is an upscale version of All Hallows' Eve, with candy replaced by dinner, dancing, and fabulous prizes. Sexy evening attire is encouraged, so this could be a scandal in the making. The gala's highlight is a musical performance by Phantom of the Opera's Daniel Callaway, followed by an auction for a date with the Broadway star. You can also play casino games for cruises, jewelry, and weekend retreats starting at 7:00 tonight at the Sonesta Hotel & Suites, 2889 McFarlane Rd., Miami. Tickets cost $125. Call 305-444-7270, or visit www.coconutgrove.com. --Karen Dale Wolman
Good to Grow
Fill your yard with native plants and forget about mowing this summer. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) will have plenty of palms, shrubs, and vines for you to pick up at today's Spring Plant Sale from 9:30 to 4:30. And don't miss the "Plants of the Year," including the Bridal Bouquet Plumeria. Admission is $12 to $15. Call 305-667-1651, or visit www.fairchildgarden.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser