It's about the garlic, man
You heard it here first: Garlic pills are for pansies. And for hypocrites too -- those who'd give up a good meal to avoid bad breath but won't brush after a cigarette or a cup of joe. If you'd rather not have your garlic synthetically stuffed inside a plastic capsule, the Sixth Annual Delray Beach Garlic Festival offers a tasty alternative.
While there's live entertainment throughout the three-day event, the main focus is on the food -- even more so than in years past. A good starting point is Gourmet Alley, one of several specialized festival areas, which features an expanded menu of the same garlic-flavored items from the original Garlic Fest in Gilroy, California. That means anything from garlic pizza to pan-fried garlic bologna sandwiches. Take your pick -- but only after stopping by the Jack Daniels Garlic Oasis, Garlic University, and the new Cloves and Vines Wine Garden. On Saturday and Sunday, five chefs from West Palm Beach to Miami compete to see who's the area's top garlic chef. Armed with the same list of ingredients, the chefs face off without prior knowledge of the ingredients. Categories include appetizers (say, roasted garlic shrimp), entrées (andouille and roasted garlic stuffed pork loin), and desserts (garlic rosemary rice pudding).
And now on to the entertainment, which explains why the focus is on food. You know you're hatin' it when the headlining band had its heyday nearly 40 years ago. Yep, '60s garage-rock heroes turned '70s crap-rock has-beens Paul Revere and the Raiders perform on Sunday. Please, guys -- stick to the classics. "Kicks," good; "Indian Reservation," not good. Of course, anything makes for better festival music than the '80s synthpop of the Fixx (who headlines Saturday). Other performers include Valerie Tyson, the Dave Mason Band, and Joey Gilmore on Friday; Liyah, Roberto Perera, and Odd Man Out on Saturday; and Billy Bones and Andy Childs on Sunday. The Delray Beach Garlic Festival takes place Friday through Sunday in downtown Delray Beach between Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave.) and NE Second Avenue. Admission costs $7 for adults and is free for children under 10. Call 561-274-4663, or visit www.dbgarlicfest.com. -- Jason Budjinski
We Hear It Hurts
Like diamonds, tattoos are forever. "Your necklace may break... but my tattooing is indestructible/It is an everlasting gem that you will take into your grave" -- so goes a traditional Samoan tattoo artist's song. The desire to sit for many hours, sweat-soaked and runny-nosed, while being poked with needles is ancient and universal. Punks, lawyers, bikers, financial aid specialists, metalheads, rockabilly fans, bouncers, math teachers, and pastry chefs -- they all want tattoos. And they can get them at the Gold Coast Tattoo Expo, where more than 100 world-class, award-winning tattoo artists peddle their rattlesnakes, butterflies, and Celtic fertility symbols. Expo-goers can also participate in seminars ("Advanced Techniques in Color Realism"), compete in contests ("Overall Female"), and rock out to a lineup of metal and punk bands (the Dead Bombers, the Ten New Toes, Murphy's Law). If you haven't participated in this uniquely human right of passage, maybe it's time to consider a modest permanent addition to your wardrobe. We promise not to tell your mother. The expo lasts from Friday through Sunday at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport (150 Australian Ave., Palm Beach). Tickets cost $15. Call 561-688-0105, or visit www.goldcoasttattooexpo.com. -- Gail Shepherd Arrrgh, Matey!
Find/sell your lost treasure here
Let the Hemingway in you take over and head to the 15th Annual Nautical Flea Market at Pompano Community Park (830 NE 18th Ave., Pompano Beach). You'll find new and used nautical gear that will finally fulfill those childhood pirate fantasies (how many times have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean, you dirty sea dog?). Fishing tackle, dock boxes, boat shoes, nautical art and jewelry, motors, dinghies, scuba gear, antique goods, boats on trailers -- you name it, it's here. More of a landlubber? Don't fret. You can unload your old boating and fishing gear if you reserve a booth. Admission costs $3 (free for age 15 and under), and there's plenty of free parking. Johnny Depp swagger sold separately. The flea market is open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get directions, vendor applications, and a sneak peek at the goods at www.nauticalfleamarket.com, or call 954-786-4111. -- Alex Garcia
Show Those Choppers
You just bought a new motorcycle, and, naturally, you want to show it off. You think this makes for a good pickup line, but your word choice is a little lacking: "Hey, baby, you wanna see my hog?" You dumbass -- you could have just as easily invited said person to the Second Annual Fort Lauderdale Bike Show, where thousands of bikers join hundreds of vendors for a day of bitchin' bikes, bands, and bikinis. Yep, there's a bikini contest, as well as competitions for bikes, tattoos, arm wrestling, and hot dog eating. More than $30,000 in prizes is available, including a 2005 Yamaha YZF600R. The show takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The cost is $12 for a one-day ticket, $20 for a two-day ticket, and free for children under 14. Call 954-990-4033. -- Jason Budjinski