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Beach Dreams

FRI 5/16

If you have a uniform fetish, this is the place to be. If Baywatch meets CHiPS is your wet dream, you'll be in nirvana in Deerfield Beach this weekend at the city's sixth-annual "Beach Blowout." The excuse for the event is hurricane education; a host of vendors provides information about hurricane safety. But the real draw is watching firefighters and cops compete against one another. Then brave corporate teams and groups of kids will try to imitate the professionals. The main events to watch are the Firefighters Combat Challenge (a sort of decathlon of search-and-rescue skills), LEOPARD (Law Enforcement Officer Performance and Reaction Drill), and the Ocean Rescue Lifeguard Competition. Lest anyone think this isn't the real thing, remember that last year's finals were broadcast on ESPN. Between competitions, rock bands with event-appropriate names like Code Blue as well as the Miami Heat Dancers will entertain the crowd. You can work on your tan, splash in the water, and watch cops, lifeguards, and firefighters from all over North America strut their stuff. The event is free and runs Friday through Monday at SE First Street and Ocean Way. Call 954-480-4433. -- Karen Dale Wolman

SAT 5/17

Yer Goin' Dowwwn

Divin' days are here again

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the beach after the Air & Sea Show, here comes the seventh-annual "Ocean Festival Dive and Adventure Sports Expo." Whew. This year's weekend-long celebration offers more than 200 exhibitors from diving-related industries, demonstrations, an underwater photo contest, and a treasure hunt. Of course, participants can also strap on some scuba gear or a snorkel and receive tips from trained professionals on diving techniques, dive destinations, and coral reef identification. There are even vendors selling the best in Bahamian and Caribbean-style food. Takes place at the Municipal Parking Lot, just north of the Fort Lauderdale Sheraton Yankee Clipper on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Call 954-765-4466. -- Audra Schroeder


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