How I Lost My Left Index Finger…

As a little kid, you used to do all sorts of inappropriate things with fireworks. The time you set off a string of Black Cats in your sister’s bedroom comes to mind. Oh, and what about when you and your friends paraded around town tucking bottle rockets behind your ears and setting them off, leaving you to explain to your parents how you burned your face helping old ladies cross the street. (She was a smoker, I swear!) But now you’re an adult, and, unfortunately, it’s no longer acceptable for you to play with fireworks. Luckily today is the Fourth of July, meaning you can watch far more properly trained folk risk bodily injury from dangerous incendiary devices, all in the name of entertainment. God bless America!

Man Cannot Live on Fireworks Alone

There was a time when you would’ve been content to watch things blow up all day long. But now your palate is much more refined. You’d prefer to drink loads of beer, and then, once you’re good and hammered, watch one grand finale. Sounds like you need to check out the Fourth of July BBQ and Concert at the Dive Bar (3233 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Ten bucks admission gets you one frosty beer, one grilled burger or hot dog, and a full day’s worth of tunes from local blues songstress Teri Catlin and funk ensemble Laura Reed and Deep Pocket. The music kicks off at 3 p.m. and breaks at 9, so that everyone can walk across the street to the beach for the Fort Lauderdale Beach Fireworks Spectacular. If hanging in bars isn’t your thing (weirdo), you can chill at the city’s party, featuring live music, games, and contests, at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Call 954-565-9264.

No explosives, but he does spit hot fire

The Florida skyline is going to be full of stars tonight, but none will shine quite as bright as Miami’s reigning King of Latin Lo-Fi, Jose el Rey. At 10 p.m. at the Vagabond (30 NE 14th St., Miami), the Hialeah homeboy will be hosting the Fourth of Jose, the official release fiesta for his new disc of anti-hits, A Little Strong. Naturally, Jose is quite a patriotic fellow, so in addition to hearing him spit out tunes like “House of Sex” all comers will be able to register to vote right there in the club. There’s no cover at all, and the bartenders will be slinging $1 Stellas until medianoche. Visit

We’re Blowin’ Up!

Maybe you’re the kind of thrill seeker who enjoys a big finish? Then you’ll want to hit up the 20th Annual Fourth on Flagler celebration in downtown West Palm Beach. Opening ceremonies kick off at 5 p.m. at the Meyer Amphitheatre (104 Datura St.) with a salute to our servicemen and women. Afterwards, drop the kids off at the children’s area full of free crafts and games, watch firefighters hose each other down at the Splash and Dash skills competition, and hit up the multitude of vendors that will be slinging food and drink all down Flagler. At 9 p.m., the city will commemorate two decades of blowin’ shit up by, well… blowing more shit up, followed by a free concert with pop punkers, Simple Plan. Visit
Fri., July 4, 2008

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John Linn