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Dress to impress at Geek Alliance's GeekCon 2.0.
Dress to impress at Geek Alliance's GeekCon 2.0.
Greyloch via Wikimedia Commons

The Nine Best Things to Do in Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Thursday, February 25

Thursdays are the worst. You're so close to the weekend and yet so far. You can't really justify dinner out when you've already got Friday-night plans, but you're just sick of dinner in front of the TV. New Times would like to tempt you off your couch with a little taste of something good from various area restaurants with the guilt-free addition of supporting a good cause. You're not splurging on a night out; you're a freakin' philanthropist! The New Times Taste of Broward event at the Westfield Broward offers food and drink from local restaurants for just $5. Your admission is a donation to LifeNet4Families, a charity that has provided service to the homeless and food insecure in Broward for the past 30 years, providing 1.4 million meals a year. You can do your part simply by spending a couple of hours sipping drinks and noshing on apps. Look out, Bill Gates!

Taste of Broward takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Westfield Broward, 8000 W. Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. For tickets in advance, visit bit.ly/tasteofbroward. Visit the Facebook event page for more info. 

Friday, February 26

If you thought the harmonica existed mostly for cowboy campfires and folk-song bridges, then give your ear canals a sonic gander at the music of Jason Ricci and Chris O'Leary. The former trained under a Johnny Winter sideman in Memphis, and the latter spent seven years as a member of Levon Helm's Barnburners — both paying their blues dues and emerging as virtuosi of the undervalued mouth organ. Ricci, in particular, performs searing harmonica compositions, using the instrument like an electric guitar. These artists and their backup bands are just two highlights of the venerated Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival, the 26th incarnation of which will fill Esplanade Park with amplified heartache and gravel-voiced anthems all weekend. Other top acts include dapper soul man Johnny Rawls and vibrant blues rocker Nikki Hill. These headliners will perform at the ticketed festival Friday and Saturday, while Sunday's free hangover performances at the Downtowner Saloon will feature a who's who of South Florida blues luminaries, including Albert Castiglia, Joey Gilmore, Joel DaSilva, JL Fulks, and Josh Rowland, all the way from noon to 9 p.m.

Tickets cost $15 for Friday's performances, which run from 5 to 10 p.m., and $25 for Saturday's show, which runs from 11 a.m. to midnight. Esplanade Park is located at 400 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit riverwalkblues.com.

Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival: See Friday.
Riverwalk Blues and Music Festival: See Friday.
Photo by Joseph Rosen

Saturday, February 27

There was a time, not too long ago, that cos­play and all things "comic book"-related, existed solely within a certain niche group and a very specific type of individual. With the advent of better screen adaptations, a more-accessible global market, and an appropriation of geek culture by the mainstream, cosplay and costume events have had their bars raised in terms of creativity and activities. This doesn't mean that quite a few haven't jumped in for other reasons; think of that friend who always goes for the "slutty" version of something for Halloween, but whether things have gotten more risqué or weird, one thing is certain: Events have gotten better. The Geek Alliance's GeekCon 2.0 is a cosplay anime event offering plenty of chances for creative types to be recognized within the cosplay community. Presented and promoted by Florida Cosplay, this is tailored for maximum photogenicness. There will be a judged competition, karaoke, poetry (yes, poetry!), photo shoots, other costuming prize chances, YouTube coverage by Princess Sara, and a Nintendo 64 bundle to be raffled off. Although all manner of cosplay is encouraged, this event is geared toward the world of anime and manga.

GeekCon 2.0 runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday at the Westfield Broward Mall, 8000 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation. Admission is free. Call 305-717-0993, or visit geekalliance.com

No matter your particular political proclivities, we could all be doing a bit more to keep our home planet clean and green, whether it's recycling, not littering, or cutting back on those long showers you take out of sheer boredom. Luckily, the Green Planet Festival strives to educate attendees on sustainability as well as provide companies, ideas, products, and services that practice this. The festival was founded on three core values: education, choice, and co-creation. The education component focuses on consumers making environmentally smart choices, while the choice component teaches attendees what companies are available in their area. As for the co-creation factor, this helps empower consumers to strive for the right, environmental choice. The Green Planet Festival, which takes place Saturday, will feature more than 150 exhibitors displaying their commitment to being environmentally conscious. Also present will be speakers, educational activities, children's workshops, and fitness and yoga classes, among other activities. Featured talent includes Dr. Robert Fishman, Alexa Carlin, Scott Joseph, and Alissa Jean Schafer.

The Green Festival takes place at the Broward Convention Center, located at 1950 Eisenhower Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The event is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $14.95 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. Visit greenplanetfestival.com

Find your personal zen at Delray Beach's MindBody Expo.
Find your personal zen at Delray Beach's MindBody Expo.
Nickolai Kashirin via Flickr Creative Commons

It's an age-old, often-despised question lobbed at art majors and artists just the same when discussing a piece of work: "So... what's the takeaway?" With Juana Meneses and Leila Leder Kremer's Portable Editions, the takeaway is two-part and can be quite literal. First, it's an actual physical copy of artistic expression that you hold in your hands via their zine printmaking workshops, and the second takeaway is more cerebral but potentially more valuable: that art should be accessible to all people and passed along through stories and images we share with one another. Menses and Leder Kremer will discuss their small-batch, Risograph printing project and upcoming printer residency and March workshops during an Artist Talk at Girls Club on Saturday. The talk is in conjunction with the current exhibition "Self-Proliferation." Grab a listening post early, because the talk is scheduled during two other big art events for the surrounding area – the annual Third Avenue Art District, in which downtown Fort Lauderdale studios open up to the public during an art walk, and the monthly FAT Village and Flagler Artwalk that happens on the last Saturday of each month.

The artist talk is free and open to the public, beginning at 7 p.m. at 117 NE Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-828-9151, or visit girlsclubcollection.org. Parking is available in the City Hall garage across the street. 

Sunday, February 28

It's hard to keep up with all the hot, new restaurants. Time and money, two things there rarely seem to be enough of, are necessities. One dinner with multiple chefs is the best way to try out the goods. And it's usually for a good cause. On Sunday, United Cerebral Palsy of South Florida is hosting the Ultimate Chef's Dinner at the Yacht and Racquet Club of Boca Raton. Top toques from across South Florida are getting together to collaborate on a three-course meal, after a Champagne reception with hors d'oeuvres. The chefs involved are Jon Greening, executive chef of Deck 84; executive chef Franco Filippone of Sette Bello Ristorante; chef Lenore Nolan-Ryan; chef Irie; and the folks from Arturo's Restaurants. Each course is paired with an appropriate wine, donated by Republic National Distributing Co. Each chef will present his or her course with a brief description as it is being served. Following dinner, guests are invited for a brief meet and greet with the culinarians. NBC 6 South Florida's Kelly Blanco is the MC. Expect live music, dancing, and a silent auction throughout the evening.

This all takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Cost to attend is $150. The Yacht and Racquet Club of Boca Raton is located at 2711 N. Ocean Blvd. in Boca Raton. Call 954-315-4057, or visit ucpsouthflorida.org

Ride for the kids of Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital.
Ride for the kids of Joe DiMaggio's Children's Hospital.
Photo Courtesy of Memoria Healthcare System

French philosopher Rene Descartes once said, "I think, therefore I am." While it's not precisely what the Frenchman meant, it turns out that your mental state may directly impact the function of your body. New Agers and medical doctors alike agree that how you perceive information can either positively or negatively influence mental and physical well-being. Sometimes, achieving this attitude requires a change in lifestyle. Keep this in mind when going to the MindBody Expo in Delray Beach. At the exposition, several vendors will showcase their life-enhancing products, and there will be a workshop and speech by mind-body medicine pioneer Jan Kinder, who became a spiritual instructor under the tutelage of Indian-American medical doctor and holistic-health public speaker Deepak Chopra. Kinder is among the "first" Chopra Center instructors.

The MindBody Expo will be held Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Delray Marketplace, located at 14851 Lyons Road. VIP tickets cost $10 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Kinder's seminar starts at 1 p.m. Be sure to bring a yoga mat. Call 561-223-9934, or visit mindbodyexpo.net

The Tour de Broward doesn't contain scenic views of the Alps and the Pyrenees, doesn't take more than three weeks to complete, and, for goodness sakes, hasn't been tarnished by doping scandals. But this local bicycle race does share one element with the Tour de France: It brings its community together, in this case supporters of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, South Broward's only pediatric hospital. Participants who decide to bike, run, or play at Sunday's seventh-annualTour de Broward fundraiser are supporting JDCH's life-saving work, with organizers hoping to outraise last year's $440,870 in funds. Options for adults include a 100k ride, a 50k ride, 5k run, and a 3k walk, with additional run, walk, and ride options for children age 13 and younger, physically challenged athletes, and wounded warriors. If you're on the fence about registering, absorb the inspiring story of Johnny Pastorius: The 11-year-old Pompano boy underwent open-heart surgery in 2012 and now completes the 5k run every year. And suffice it to say, the Tour de Broward is a hell of a lot cheaper than a plane ticket to France.

The event begins at 7 a.m. Sunday at Miramar Regional Park, located at 16801 Miramar Parkway. Preregistration runs $25 to $40. Same-day registration runs $35 to $50. Call 954-905-5633, or visit tourdebroward.com

For more events, visit our online calendar or pick up the print edition of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach every Thursday. To submit an event, use our online form.

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