Two days ago marked the beginning of ARTS Week, when the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts' Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) program awards cash and college scholarships to worthy teens. One hundred dancers, musicians, writers, actors, filmmakers, visual artists, and vocalists from 30 states will compete. Among the free showcases are a dance and voice program tonight at 7:00 at Ransom Everglades Upper School Auditorium (3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove); and a film, visual art, photo, and video display tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at the Miami Children's Museum on Watson Island. Saturday, January 10, writers read at 9:30 a.m. at MDC Wolfson Campus Auditorium (300 NE 2nd Ave.) and a 1:00 p.m. chamber music performance goes on at Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables). Call 305-377-1140. -- By Nina Korman
Local tradition means politics, business
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The Three Kings Day Parade in Miami turns 33 this year. And oh what years they have been. In the past we've seen Elian Gonzalez cast in the role of the baby Jesus and our newly arrived chief John Timoney in shades that only hinted at his Robocop future. As yet, we can only speculate as to what lucky local concern will snare the coveted advertising space on the side of the namesake camel. The parade celebrates the feast of the Epiphany, officially January 6, when Latin Americans pay homage to Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, who brought gifts for the baby Elian, uh, Jesus. The parade begins at noon at SW 8th Street and SW 22nd Avenue. Admission is free. Call 305-445-4020. -- By Victor Cruz
Big Top Bash
Flying Russians, dancing pachyderms, growling tigers, daredevil bikers, and a hell of a tenor. These are just some of the acts that Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus offers as the "Greatest Show on Earth" rolls into town. If you think that by watching TV you've seen a circus, think again. There's nothing like the live danger-packed version and the undeniable stench of elephant poop and popcorn. The circus opens at 7:30 tonight and runs through Sunday, January 18, at the American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd. Tickets cost $11 to $37. Call 305-358-5885. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez