"I moved here on July 15, 1997, to work for the Versace family. Unfortunately, that was the day Gianni was murdered. It was heartbreaking," statuesque queen Elaine Lancaster says. Eight years after her fateful arrival, it's difficult to imagine South Beach without Lancaster towering above the crowd like a platinum beacon. The official hostess for Care Resource's White Party Week says, "Honey, my appearance unto itself is a performance. I think of my drag as art."
On Friday, Lancaster oversees the Casa Casuarina VIP Brunch Reception, where she'll whoop it up with Janice Dickinson, Carson Kressley, and Billy Bean in the beautiful building where Gianni Versace lived and died. She'll bring sweaty White Party action into living rooms nationwide when she hosts QTV's Q on the Move from the Muscle Beach party and celebrity volleyball tournament on Sunday. And she's looking forward to the 21st-annual White Party at Vizcaya. "There's a certain magic in the air that night," Lancaster gushes. "And it's all in the name of AIDS fundraising. You know, the tickets [for the brunch alone] cost $250. If I can sell that fucker out, then I've done a good deed." White Party week runs through Monday. Call 305-576-1234, or visit www.whiteparty.com. Patrice Elixabeth Grell Yursik
30 years of carnies
Anniversaries are the perfect chance to celebrate romance. Since the Broward County Fair has now been courting our community for 30 years, what could be better grounds for a picturesque date night? Sweep your special lady off her feet by riding the chariot of love (Broward County Transit) to the fertile soil of enchantment (Pompano Race Track). Stroll hand in hand as carnies degrade your manhood while shaking colossal stuffed animals at your beloved. Dine on delicious, overpriced, fried fair fare under the soft, flickering lights of the "Spine Scrambler." Stare deeply into each other's eyes while breathing in the aroma of amore wafting upward from the coagulating bile puddles positioned beneath the Tilt o' Hurl. As the seasons slowly shift, you and your Juliet will want something to reflect upon; browse through vendors' booths for commemorative mementos, like his-and-hers airbrushed bandannas. Don't rely solely on flashbacks from the acid you drop in the petting zoo. The fair runs through Sunday at the Pompano Race Track (Atlantic Boulevard and Powerline Road, Pompano Beach). Call 954-922-2224, or visit www.browardcountyfair.com. Jamie Laughlin
What Do You Buy the Guy Who Has Everything?
If your birthday falls on November 25, you might consider rescheduling it. If Adbusters (the $8 magazine dedicated to advertising how detrimental advertising is) gets its way, you'll be lucky to receive a sweater made of cat hair, a seashell that vaguely resembles Katie Couric, or a hand-scribbled "friendship coupon" ("Good for one hug!"). When Adbusters chose the biggest shopping day of the year and declared it "Buy Nothing Day," it was an attempt to encourage people to reflect upon why they compulsively consume. Observe this "holiday" by avoiding the mall, but beware: "That dude" crashing on your couch will use it to avoid pitching in for food bills again. Visit www.adbusters.org. Jamie Laughlin
Hay, There! Say "Cheese"!
You can lead a horse to water, or to have its picture taken with Santa Claus. Cats, dogs, and, indeed, horses should circle all the toys they want in the Sears catalog, then bring it, plus proof of vaccinations, to Tradewinds Park (3600 W. Sample Rd., Coconut Creek). Cost: $5 per photo; donations of items for animal rescue organizations will be appreciated too. "Holiday Photos with Your Pet" lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 954-968-3880. Deirdra Funcheon