These are the times that try men’s souls. Do you visit with some of the top draft picks in your fantasy porn league — say, Teagan Presley, Tera Patrick or Ron Jeremy — at the Exxxotica 2014 convention in Fort Lauderdale? Or do you do Afrobeta, Pretty Lights, Alice in Chains and Ellie Goulding at SunFest in West Palm Beach? Will it be a Kentucky Derby soiree, partying with the boys of Fleet Week, or will you save yourself for Cinco de Mayo?
We begin, of course, with women on roller skates.
The Gold Coast Derby Grrls, South Florida’s premier roller derby squad, will take things up a notch or three with Beach Brawl 2014, the first-ever international roller derby tournament, Friday-Sunday at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.
That is, of course, the same building that hosts Exxxotica this weekend. So if you see Ron Jeremy on roller skates, you may be in the wrong hall. Or the funding for “Debbie Does Derby” finally came through.
Since its founding in 2007 as Broward Roller Derby, the Gold Coast Derby Grrls program has expanded to include women from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, and currently is ranked No. 46 out of more than 200 teams in the world.
Amy Lowe, a West Palm Beach resident who has competed for three years under the nom de boom Hellon Skates, says Beach Brawl is a major statement for GCDG, which is trying to burnish its reputation in a sport that’s spreading “like wildfire” around the globe. Beach Brawl will include teams from Canada, England, Germany and Colombia.
“The sport is so empowering, and it’s available to any age, economic level, sexual orientation,” says Lowe, a senior paralegal for Florida Power and Light when she’s not throwing elbows on the flat track. “We’ve got nuclear scientists, lawyers, doctors, waitresses, hairdressers. It’s a sport that bridges gaps.”
GCDG matches at the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale have a family-friendly vibe, and Lowe says the group hopes that migrates to the convention center, where she expects skaters and fans to number in the thousands. The event will include a wide variety of vendors (from vape to massage), clothing, tattoo artists, music, food and drink.
You will not, however, see skates on Hellon Skates, who is just returning from ACL surgery on a knee. But she’s anxious to get back on the track, especially to balance out her day job “managing paper.”
“It keeps me from going insane,” she says. “If I have a really bad day, I can get out there and focus on something else ... and I get to slam into people. I go home, and it’s, ‘Stress? What stress?’”
Beach Brawl 2014 takes place 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Tickets: $35, ages 5-12 $15; after 4 p.m. $20/$7. Three-day passes: $75/$35. All tickets available at GoldCoastDerbyGrrls.com and at the door. Younger than 5 admitted free.
Meanwhile, in the next room, Exxxotica’s three-day sex romp returns to the convention center. If you are looking for a developing trend, it appears that organizers are doubling down on Friday’s free-for-ladies theme, with three performances by the Badboys Australia male revue, and an expanded environment called the Dungeon, inspired by “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Worth mentioning on Sunday is a 5:15 p.m. appearance by the popular Tera Patrick, who will … read a book. OK, it’s her memoir, “Sinner Takes All,” but … kooky! More info: ExxxoticaExpo.com.
TEQUILA, BY GEORGE
Not all celebrity endorsements are the same, but we like to think that drinking George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila is like fielding grounders with a Derek Jeter glove. On Cinco de Mayo, Grille 401 on Las Olas Boulevard will offer $5 cocktails made with Casamigos, a partnership between Clooney and nightlife impresario Rande Gerber, both seen in the oddball video below. Info: 954-767-0222, Grille401.com.
UNO, DOS, TRES, CINCO!
Rocco Mangel of Rocco’s Tacos fame is serious about tequlia, too. The restaurant owner, famous for his white shoes and bartop Pee-Wee Herman dance, will again be helicoptering between his places in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale (and Orlando) for his annually insane Cinco parties on Monday. We have to say that the presence of Miami’s Suenalo puts the Fort Lauderdale event over the top. Info: Facebook.com/RoccosTacos.
ARE YOU A PINK-O?
The inaugural Pink-o de Mayo Celebrity Bowling fundraiser, hosted by the Miami-Fort Lauderdale affiliate of Susan G. Komen, takes place Sunday afternoon at SpareZ in Davie. For your donation (individuals $75, teams $300) you get two hours of bowling, shoes, the event T-shirt, pizza and soft drinks. Like Race for the Cure, you can get a T-shirt without participating for a $25 donation. Spectators are $10. Obviously space is limited, so register in advance. Check-in for pre-registered individuals is 2-3 p.m., with bowling 3-5 p.m. Register and get more information at KomenMiaFTL.org.
This is one of those years at SunFest when the schedule creates an exciting petri dish of pop music impulses that will be fun to monitor: On Sunday between 7 and 9 p.m. the three stages will offer the dark grunge rock of Alice in Chains, the superficial crooning of heartthrob Austin Mahone and the strangely alluring (but also superficial) club siren Ellie Goulding. There may not be more than six people who will walk to all three stages, but this kind of diversity is what makes the West Palm Beach festival such a draw. For a guaranteed good time on Saturday, catch the 12:30 p.m. show by Miami’s dance-happy Afrobeta, whose shimmering nightclub electronics stand up to sunlight, too. Info: SunFest.com.
YOUR WEEKEND PLAYLIST
Former Dreaming in Stereo wordsmith Fernando Perdomo, now a producer and performer in Los Angeles, returns to South Florida with a new album, “Warm,” which gets a family-friendly listening party at 2 p.m. Sunday at The Stage in Miami. Jim Camacho, Dreaming in Stereo and others will play along. Cover: $5, kids free. First 20 entrants get a copy of "Warm." Info: 305-576-9577, TheStageMiami.com, Facebook.com/FernandoPerdomo. Get the album here.
The Restaurant People, the team behind Fort Lauderdale hot spots YOLO and S3, have settled on a name for their new Las Olas space devoted to meatballs and smashes: Fork and Balls. Rummaging through the trash out back we discovered a list of rejected names, including Ours Are Bigger Than Theirs, and, when they were toying with an organic, locavore theme for the restaurant, Grow a Pair. Fork and Balls is at 1301 E. Las Olas Blvd., former home to Cathode Ray. And M Bar. No firm word yet on opening day.