Listen up, bachelorettes (and, Id wager a guess, a few bachelors as well): Saturdays Hottest Heroes Calendar Night and fireman fest is like something straight outta Sex and the City and these local firemen are bound to do just about everything but turn down the heat. Meet the sizzlin selection of men, and get a sneak peek of their, er, upcoming calendars. Ill leave the jokes about his hose to your imagination. Proceeds benefit Lance Armstrongs LIVESTRONG foundation. Visit ritzybor.com for more info. Sat., Nov. 21, 7-11 p.m., The RITZ Ybor, Tampa, $10.
When I became a certified barbecue judge a few years back, I realized that there's more to the art of smoked meat than most people realize. Luckily, you won't have to worry about that when you head out to the 7th annual Plant City Pig Jam this weekend. Instead, you can just cruise the field, sampling championship char from more than 70 barbecue teams, ranging from local yokels to semi-professional 'cue cooks. Select your own best of show if you like, but the trained judges will crown category and overall winners, and hand out the $15,000 prize pool, at the end of the day. All the day's college football games are broadcast in the beer tent, theres live music on the main stage, and the kids have their own section with sugary snacks and a play area to work off the energy. You really have no excuse to avoid this cornucopia of carnivorous delights. Sat., Nov. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1500 South Park Road, Plant City, free, 813-754-2315 or plantcity.org. Brian Ries
The 12th annual juried fine arts and crafts showcase, CraftArt, welcomes Museum of Arts and Design Chief Curator David Revere McFadden as this year's guest judge of America's best established and emerging artists working in clay, fiber, glass, metal, paper, mixed media, original woodcuts and lithographs. Art-heads also have a chance to meet McFadden and participating artists at an Awards Dinner on Saturday; Call 727-821-7391 for reservations or visit floridacraftsmen.net for more info. Nov. 21-22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Florida Craftsme, St. Petersburg.[image-1]
In Luccia de Lammermoor (pictured), Ravenswood Castle transforms from beloved family home to the scene of fragile Lucia's blood-soaked madness as a result of a feud between two Scottish families in Donizetti's famous tragic opera. Visit tbpac.org for tickets and info. Nov. 20 and 22, 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sun., Carol Morsani Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa, $29.50-$89.50.
It's that time of year again -- before November's even had a chance to set in, the major retailers have their holiday merch on display and ready to take your hard-earned dollars out of the local community. Today, TIBA (the Tampa Bay Business Alliance) wants you (and everyone you know) to shop local to support America Unchained. With Florida's economy in a shambles, it's important now more than ever to ensure that holiday spending equals community building. If everyone shops local for just one day, more that $23 million extra dollars will stay in Tampa Bay. Mention TIBA or America Unchained at participating local stores (like Urban Body, A Business Printing, Bungalow Bistro, Forever Beautiful Spa, Inkwood Books, Mojo Books & Music, Stehlik Photography, Tanner Paint, Why Not Boutique and more) for discounts and special offers to make your dollar stretch even further. Sat., Nov. 21, visit tibatampa.org for more info.
The air is getting cool and crisp, and lets hope it stays that way, because it is time to chill in every sense of the word. Chillounge Night sponsored by Cointreau and created by a Sarasota gallery owner transforms Straub Park into a swanky lounge and nightclub. The outdoor lounge, decked out with lights, a banging sound system and hundreds of stylish daybeds for those who want to kick back and enjoy a tasty beverage is a great way for people to mingle in an unusual, elegant environment. If you dont feel like chillin then take your pick of entertainment: festivities include tango dancers, opera singers, jazz musicians, a fashion show, a cigar lounge and a grand finale Brazilian Samba Parade. This ingenious party is bound to be kick-ass and, as if you need another reason to attend, the event benefits Creative Clay and the Woodson Museum. Visit chilloungenight.com for more info. Sat., Nov. 21, 6-11 p.m., Straub Park, St. Petersburg, $20, $75 VIP.
Peep the new holiday collection before it hits racks at the BeBe Fashion Show benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The first 200 fashion plates in the door get a gift card, and, as if you needed more incentive, ladies drink free from 10 to 11 p.m. Call 813-265-1234 for VIP reservations. Fri., Nov. 20, 10 p.m.-3 a.m., Jackson's Bistro, Tampa.
At the Downtown Tampa Cattle Drive, the Florida Cattlemens Association and the Seminole Tribe of Florida drive a herd of cattle through a crowded city -- no joke. In conjunction with the Tampa Bay History Center's Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition exhibit, city slickers can experience the cattle ranching lifestyle at the authentic Cracker Cow Camp in Contanchobee Fort Brooke Park, watch whip making demonstrations, listen to cowboy storytelling, or meet Carlton Ward, Jr, author of Florida Cowboys: Keepers of the Last Frontier. Visit tampabayhistorycenter.org for more info. Sat., Nov. 21, 10 a.m. , Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa.
The Sanding Ovations Florida Music Beach Jam, hosted by WMNF's Pete Gallagher, includes performances Cornfused, Greg Billings Band, Experimental Pilot and Sarasota Slim on Friday and Saturday, followed by a totally open jam on Sunday -- all accompanied by the spectacle of sand masters at work, as they mold and sculpt crazy creations from a volatile medium. Also on site are arts and craftspeople, food vendors, fireworks and more. Visit mytreasureisland.org/sandingovations.htm for full schedule of events and more info. Nov. 20-22, 6 p.m. Fri., 4:30 p.m. Sat., noon Sun., Bilmar Resort, Treasure Island, free.
The new-opened St. Pete gallery with an eye for ceramics offers Form and Function, a collection of works by Josh DeWeese, McKenzie Smith, Brian Sarama and Bede Clarke, who returned to the roots of clay for inspiration. Before it was about art, clay and ceramic served a more practical purpose: it was used to create vessels to carry water, to hold fruit, or to serve as everyday tableware. This exhibit explores the idea that form need not be lost in a functional piece; Our day to day items can still be a source of beauty and inspiration. An opening reception and artist talk back is held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 20; On display through Dec. 31. Visit mindysolomon.com for more info. Mindy Solomon Gallery, St. Petersburg.