Booze, babes, and... bulls?
Leave it to Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to reel in the big enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo. The district is growing faster than a cactus on steroids, rounding out its ethnic food offerings with last December's opening of the Tequila Ranch (5760 Seminole Way, Hollywood). It built the right venue to celebrate all things Mexican, and now it has Rockit Ranch Productions -- Chicago's big party planning players -- ensuring that no cerveza is left unfinished. You can bet your pesos there'll be more than just beer and burritos. How about a mechanical bull? Sure, you can get that at most redneck bars, but this one's special: It comes equipped with attractive females on top. OK, so that's mostly for guys. But everyone can enjoy the real deal of the evening -- the à la carte menu of fajitas, tacos, fish, octopus, $3 Coronas, and enough tequila to forget the past two months. Plus, there's live mariachi music and flamenco dancers. Even if you don't win a trip for two to Mexico -- the evening's grand prize -- you'll have come as close as you can get around these parts. The party starts at 11 a.m. Call 954-556-7430. -- Jason Budjinski
A Wilde Dream
The next generation of writers
Now that Lynn and Alex have been eliminated from The Amazing Race and Coby got his torch blown on Survivor, what else can a gay man with writer's block do but turn off the TV and get to Borders Books and Music (2240 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. Friday for a free reading? Almost a century after the Lost Generation expressed its alienation, the Next Generation -- a yearlong series of free fiction-writing workshops, seminars, and public readings for gay and lesbian writers -- presents a reading from its current members. A collaborative project by Lavender Writes, Broward County Libraries, Borders Books, the Pride Factory, and Karen Dale Wolman, all are welcome to join -- including nongay writers. Call 954-566-6335, or visit Lavender Writes at www.lavenderwrites.org. -- John Shannon
Festival Filled with Hot Air
In a good way
When the first hot-air balloon took flight over Paris in the 1780s, one of the first thoughts must have been the military implications of conquering the skies -- though the French most likely saw its unlimited potential as an improved method of surrender. These days, world domination might be out of the question, but at the second-annual Hot-Air Balloon Festival on Saturday at Heritage Park (1100 S. Fig Tree Ln., Plantation), you can still dream of what might have been. There will be hot-air balloons, an antique-car show, entertainment, a youth fishing tournament, and sports memorabilia displays. The free event runs from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 954-791-1025. -- Paul A. Leone
They Know Vino
If you've never been to Las Olas Gourmet (111 SE Eighth Ave., Fort Lauderdale), Friday is a good day to fix that. From 6 to 8 p.m., guests can choose from a selection of white wine, chardonnay, cabernet, malbec, pinot grigio, and Chianti as well as cheese, olives, and even some of the shop's yummy sandwiches -- all for the $10 admission cost. Call 954-768-0003. -- Jason Budjinski
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