In case you haven't heard yet, the Lake Worth art scene is the place to be. Kara Walker-Tome, education director at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth), explains that there is much expansion and change going on in West Palm Beach and Lake Worth. "The arts scene is getting younger, hipper, smarter, and more cohesive," Walker-Tome says. "Of course, we here at PBICA like to think that we are a part of that expansion, due to the nature of our exhibitions and programming. There are a lot of transplants from more-cosmopolitan artist communities moving here, and many of them are excited to see alternative art. I'm looking forward to a lively discussion about the movers and shakers of this arts community." And that discussion is Artist-to-Artist: the Local Scene, which happens at 7 p.m. The event is followed by a special happy hour at the Bamboo Room. Call 561-5820006, or visit www.palmbeachica.org.
What makes someone really good at being nude? Is it their totally nude attitude? Or perhaps the carefree way they swing around a pole while being nude? Since South Florida is rife with seedy strip clubs, it only makes sense that Miss Nude USA 2003 would be held at the Hallandale Cheetah (100 Ansin Blvd., Hallandale Beach). Twenty adult entertainers from across the country compete for the coveted title. The competition is judged by "celebrity guests" who apparently have a Ph.D. in Nude or something. No word on whether there's a talent or question-and-answer portion ("I'm for world peace, stamping out measels, and lots of bare skin"), but would it really matter? If you've got nothing better to do on a Friday, try really hard to find something. If you still can't think of anything more mentally stimulating or culturally enlightening, then go to this and try to live with yourself. It's gonna be totally nude, dude! Contest starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10. Call 954-455-2131.
For years now, the folks at Secret Woods Nature Center have been holding a mini-jam band festival to celebrate Jerry Garcia's birthday. But this year, the festival steps up a notch in several ways. First, the venue moves from the intimate atmosphere of Secret Woods to the larger, more festival-oriented location of Ives Optimist Park (1511 NE 207th St., North Miami). For those of you groaning about a drive to Miami, you should know that Ives is right on the county line, so quit whining. A weekend of camping includes vendors, food, contests, and, of course, plenty of live entertainment. Folk rockers Muscadine Wine kick off the day, followed by the Almost Acoustic Band. Despite being less than two years old, AAB has gained a cult following on the festival circuit and has packed more than 100 shows into its brief existence. The obligatory Dead cover band, Crazy Fingers, follows AAB, and then Soundproof takes the stage at midnight and jams till dawn. With a couple of the bands set to perform on the Jam Cruise possibly stopping by, this has the potential to be the best Jerry's Birthday Bash in history. Tickets cost $15 and include camping. Call 954-926-5458.
These days, there's a club for every hobby, and radio-control model boats are no different. The Palm Beach Radio Control Powerboaters present a series of races at Okeeheelee Park (7715 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach). Participants can race gas- and nitro-powered model boats along a three-quarter-mile course, and more than 130 models are set to race. Satisfy your need for speed on a smaller scale and without the threat of being arrested. All races are held at the park's southeast canal. The competition happens between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and is free for spectators. Call 561-795-0717.
Several local libraries have been hopping on the art bandwagon recently. Notables include the Main Library and North Regional/BCC, each of which hosts monthly exhibits. As if we needed something else to distract us in libraries, what with all the reading and looking up of books. In any case, now Hollywood Library (6325 Garfield St., Hollywood) steps into the action with "Dimensions in Watercolor," which opens today and continues through August 29. The show features watercolor paintings by local artist Thomas Draving. Library shows such as this often serve as the first solo exhibit for up-and-coming artists such as Draving, allowing the library to perform yet another useful service to the community, along with other benefits such as tracking everything we read and reporting it to the Justice Department. We love Big Brother. Admission is free. Call 954-926-2430.
The City of Palm Beach Gardens holds National Night Out from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Plant Drive Park (10133 Plant Dr., Palm Beach Gardens). With back-to-school days right around the corner, it's a good time for parents and children alike to reintroduce themselves to everything they'll need to know to keep the kids out of harm's way. One new thing: "Toothprints," an identification kit for kids that includes a dental imprint, DNA sample, a digital photograph, and fingerprints. Can this help track a missing child? Yes. Will it more likely be used by the government to track down a child once he's grown up and committed a felony? Absolutely. Admission is free. Call 561-630-8714.
Those singles groups have thought of everything, including Round Robin Tennis Nights. Every Wednesday at Brian Piccolo Park (9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City), the Racquet Center hosts intermediate-level tennis, socializing, and refreshments. Go from playing "singles" to "doubles," put the ball "in their court," and score some points. Games start at 7:30 p.m., and cost is $10 per person. Ages 18 and older. Call 954-437-2661 to register.