Pinch tail and suck head this Mother's Day weekend! It's tradition for fans of the Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival who want to experience a bit of the bayou in Fort Lauderdale. Thirty-five thousand pounds of mudbugs will be boiled during the 12th-annual event, as swamp-stopping performers spur feisty fais do-dos. These dance parties of two-stepping, waltzing, and Whiskey River jitterbugging are performed to the Cajun and zydeco sounds of Steve Riley; the Ardoin, Savoy, and Carrier families; and others who play fiddles, washboards, and accordions.
Let the kids race live crawfish and circle a maypole while you sacrifice a watermelon -- tossing it toward the heavens and letting the crowd feast on its crashed remains. Some cooks prepare family favorites like rabbit; local eateries serve muffulettas, étouffée, and beignets; and competitors vie for top gumbo. Before washing the mudbugs down with microbrews, toast "Lagniappe" (Creole for a little extra gift that breeds goodwill and friendship) to some of the couples planning to get hitched on the premises. The festival takes place Friday through Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Festival Grounds (1201 NW 55th St.). Advance tickets cost $15 daily, $23 for two days, and $28 for three, food not included. Call 954-828-3255. -Michelle Sheldone
Work It, Kid!
Young dancers do battle
After watching some of the exaggeratedly untalented buffoons on American Idol, it's easy for up-and-coming performers to feel emboldened about their own skills. While the frequent off-key singing is the greatest offense, the footwork's none too stellar either, leaving many a young dancer thinking, "Hey, I got better moves than that clown!" Oh, really? Why not show us, then? This weekend's Hip-Hop Workshop and Battle is the perfect place to do so. More than 500 hip-hop dancers converge upon Broward Community College Central Campus (3501 SW Davie Rd., Davie) to learn from no less of a stage pro than dancer/actor Darrin Henson, of Showtime's Soul Food series. Saturday's workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; it's an eight-hour cram session for Sunday's all-ages dance battle. Tickets cost $65 to $85 per day. So if you think you're up for it, call 954-475-6680, or visit www.darrinsdancegrooves.com.-Jason Budjinski
How A-boat It?
Cruise to the boat show
We're no Guy Harveys, but we like boats -- especially when we're cruising with a cooler of brewskis on deck and a Sonny Crockett-esque captain at the helm. Alas, if that fantasy scenario is ever to come true, it must be grounded somewhere in cold reality -- like, say, the Broward Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), where the Broward County Boat Show is under way from Friday through Sunday. Check out 100 booths stocked with nautical accessories, dive gear, and electronics, plus an awesome selection of power boats up to 35 feet long. Soon as you get one of those suckers in the water, we'll bring the beer. Just promise not to call us Tubbs! Admission costs $5. Call 954-946-6164. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Pissing Off the Housekeepers
The folks at superchic Hotel Biba (230 Belvedere Rd., West Palm Beach) have invited 28 artists to set up installations in the facility's rooms and lobby. Last year, freaks sewed stuff on the sheets, wrote all over the bathroom walls, and did "performance art" in the beds (see www.photo4art.com). Check out the surprises at the one-night-only Showtel exhibit from 7 p.m. to midnight. Call 561-832-0094. -- Deirdra Funcheon