Unifest 2003, the City of Lauderdale Lakes' ninth-annual Caribbean culture celebration, kicks off Saturday at Vincent Torres Memorial Park (4331 NW 36th St., Lauderdale Lakes). From noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, the city and the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce attempt to mush all things Caribbean into a two-day festival. While the business expos/health fairs one expects out of chamber of commerce events are, predictably, there in spades, the fun also includes a carnival parade, a car and motorcycle show, and a long list of live entertainment.
Reggae artists Screwdriver and Michelle Gordon are among the performers. Screwdriver, a.k.a. Dalton Lindo, enjoyed local fame in Jamaica before branching out from the island throughout the 1990s with a series of albums featuring conscious lyrics and rootsy music. For her part, Gordon represents the new wave of roots reggae, as exhibited on her 2000 release, Lioness, and her work with other roots artists such as Mikey Dread and Michael Rose, Black Uhuru's former lead singer.
The big guns of Unifest are Calypso Rose (above) and Yellowman. Fans of calypso music likely know of Calypso Rose, the style's premier female proponent, who forced Trinidad's National Calypso King Competition to change its name to the Calypso Monarchy Competition when she won the title in 1978. Yellowman, the albino toaster who ruled dancehall in the 1980s, headlines Unifest, and while he's become a lot less slack with age, his jumping beats should get the crowd going. Admission is free. Call 954-730-8885. -- Dan Sweeney
Recovery means more than just getting by
Anyone who showed up at last year's survival expo should definitely take note that Survival 2003 has absolutely nothing to do with Survival 2002. Last year's expo at the War Memorial Auditorium played upon post-9/11 fears by featuring all the supplies you'd need in case of a terrorist attack, flood, fire, or any other natural/man-made disaster. Convenient, certainly, for the fans of Armageddon. But survivalists and others of like mind should steer clear of Survival 2003, held at the Holiday Inn (2711 S. Ocean Dr., Hollywood), subtitled "Worldwide Road to Recovery Conference." It bills itself as being for all victims and survivors of any and all forms of violence and abuse, which should cover more or less everybody on planet Earth. You'll get the details when the conference is underway, with keynote speakers including Phil Cook, author of Abused Men -- the Hidden Side of Domestic Violence; Andi Thomas, the founder and director of Hep-2 ALERT Inc.; Broward County Legal Aid Attorney Robyn Rappaport Weiss; and many others. The conference begins Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., continues Friday at the same hours, and wraps up Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-989-6500. -- Dan Sweeney
Don't You Dog Me
The Humane Society crusades for their dog-given rights
The Florida Humane Society has been at the same location in Deerfield Beach for more than ten years. But now, with the house being sold from under them, the 35 cats and 15 dogs that live there could be left with no place to go. Not cool, right? Here's where you come in. The Humane Society and Boca Town Center have partnered for a two-day event called "Dog Days of Summer." This fur-friendly festival features groomers, veterinarians, pet food companies, doggie day-care providers, a visit from Animal Planet's Wild Kingdom show, and a chance to adopt a dog, cat, puppy, or kitten. The FHS hopes to raise $100,000 from the raffle of a 42-inch plasma television during this event and put money down on a new shelter. Help out a good cause and get some pets to good homes on Saturday and Sunday at the Boca Raton Town Center (6000 Glades Rd., Boca Raton). All proceeds go to help the Florida Humane Society. Call 561-368-6001. -- Audra Schroeder
Not Just for Aromatherapy
Yes, the name Lavender Writes suggests a Harlequin romance novel dripping with steamy sex, heaving bosoms, shirtless men on horseback, illegitimate children, and forbidden embraces. Sigh. But fear not, curious reader. The Lavender Writes Series happens every month at Borders (2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) and is actually a forum for local gay and lesbian writers to share funny and engaging fiction and poetry with the public and provide support for gay and lesbian writers through writing workshops. Local authors Cary Michael Bass, Jim McDonough, and New Times contributing writer Karen Dale Wolman are just a few of the writers featured this time around. Nongay writers and readers are also welcome to participate. Sorry for the letdown, romance fans. But RomantiCon 2003 is coming up, and word on the street is that Fabio's the guest speaker. Otherwise, participate with the local talent at 1 p.m. This event is free, and reservations are not required. Call 954-566-6335. -- Audra Schroeder