Bring Out Your Bon

Honor and setting fire to stuff

SAT 8/9

Inspired by the "Obon Festival," Morikami brings Japan to South Florida for one night of spectacular events paying tribute to those who have passed on. Traditionally called the "Festival of the Dead," Obon -- "Bon" for short -- gives credit to ancestors for providing life and well-being to families of today. Morikami's Bon Festival this Saturday honors the dead, who, according to Japanese culture, return to their families for three days.

This year, the Bon Festival also pays tribute to our troops in Iraq and the crew who died on space shuttle Columbia. Dr. Bruce Vu, senior engineer at Kennedy Space Center, will attend the festival to release a special lantern inscribed by personnel at KSC, and at the end of the evening's events, he will signal the start of the annual fireworks display.

In addition to the lanterns set afloat, the Morikami provides a shouryou bune (a kind of boat) filled with messages from festivalgoers and set ablaze to assist the spirits in their departure from our world. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. at Morikami Museum and Gardens (4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach). Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Call 561-495-0233. -- Beth KirkpatrickTUE 8/12Hell on Wheels

Rollerblades are soooo five years ago

Much to my chagrin, an online search for gay skate nights led me into a plethora of "adult" fetish sites. No, no, no! This isn't what skating is about. Skating's about fun and bad disco music and hot pants and couples only! Thank goodness Gold Coast Roller Rink (2604 S. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale) knows what's up. For the past 40 years, it's hosted a "Gay Skate Night" every Tuesday. You can rent skates or bring your own and live out your fantasy of being an extra in Roller Boogieor Skatetown, U.S.A. You know, that one had Scott Baio and Patrick Swayze in it. Join in the fun at 8 p.m. Call 954-523-6783. -- Audra Schroeder

 
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