Easter Surf Festival While most Easter events involve bunnies and colorful eggs, Ron Jon Surf Shop celebrates its own way with a totally extreme Easter Surf Festival. Rather than hunt for candies, surfers vie to win $10,000 in the Men and Women's Professional Long Board Championship presented by Long Board Magazine. In its 43rd consecutive year, the event proudly holds the title of second oldest surfing contest in the whole surfing U.S.A. The website promises a judging crew with "the most accurate results available in competition" (gnarly!) and "state of the art determination in scoring" (radical!). Off the water, bikinis and skin abound in a variety of activities. (dawn to dusk through Sunday; Shepard Park and Cocoa Beach Pier, Cocoa Beach; free; www.eastersurffest.com)
Campus MovieFest Florida Grand Finale We have been spoiled by the Florida Film Festival, and now that it's over until next year, all things film may seem a little dry. No fear — one more morsel of film goodness will tide us over. Campus MovieFest, the "world's largest student film festival," holds the debut Florida Grand Finale to showcase the finalists from four universities (Rollins College, UCF, University of Tampa, Jacksonville University). The film free-for-all began in 2000, giving students a camcorder, a laptop and a week to create a short film, and it's grown from there. If viewing the brainchildren of the winning college students is not enough of a lure, then take note: Audience members have a chance to win Apple gear just for showing up. (7 p.m. at the Plaza Theatre; $7; 407-228-1220; www.campusmoviefest.com)
The Luau Weekend Grab that bling and your cleanest pair of Fubus — this party does not have anything to do with hula skirts. The Luau Weekend, hosted by Frontline Productions, presents a crowd of fly guest hosts including BET VJs Q-45 and Big Tigger and Orlando's own "Mouth of the South," DJ Jay Deezy. The festivities begin Thursday at Club Whispers with a luau edition of Girlfriends night (9 p.m., $10, ladies free), followed up Friday by a special edition of the monthly "Grown Folks First Friday" (9 p.m.-3 a.m. at House of Blues, $22). Saturday will be divided into two intriguing gatherings: "For the Young & Sexy" and "For the Grown & Sexy"; the young are holding a concert with Trick Daddy and DJ Khaled, and the adults will have a "Black Carpet" party where stylish, upscale dress is required. Ballin'! (9 p.m.; $25 for Club Firestone, $20 for Club Whispers). The weekend wraps up with "Sunsplash Sunday" (9:30 p.m. at Club Whispers, $15; 407-290-9896; www.frontlineluau.com).
Date Night at the Gardens The elusive date night just got easier to plan. On the first Friday of the month, April through September, Leu Gardens shows a romantic movie on a 30-foot screen, to encourage appreciation of the birds and the bees. The season opener is Grease, which despite its reality-television transgression still conjures memories of black Spandex and the soundtrack I recorded on my powder-pink boom box. Plan to bring chairs — or a blanket for cuddling — and dinner fare will be for sale if you aren't in the mood to pack a picnic basket. Go early, because the event draws as many as 600 people, and the under-the-stars "theater" is in the back of the garden, so it's a bit of a hoof. (gates 6 p.m., movie 8:30 p.m. at Leu Gardens; 407-246-2620; www.leugardens.org)
An Evening of Spirituals Timeless classics never die, especially these songs of praise riddled with dreams of hope and freedom written anonymously while slavery was in full bloom. The Negro spiritual songs have long been considered integral to the cultural heritage of African-Americans. "An Evening of Spirituals," a collaboration of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, will bring out "I Got a Robe," "Every Time I Feel the Spirit," "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," "Rockin' Jerusalem" and "Who Built the Ark?" A handful of opera stars and internationally known singers will lend their voices for the night of religion-infused global anthems. The Jones High School Concert Choir and the Bethune-Cookman University Chorale join in as well. (2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Carr Performing Arts Centre; $13-$60; 407-849-2020; www.orlandocentroplex.com)
Babes in Bonnets Tea and Auction All jokes involving homosexuals and unfertilized egg hunts should be duly silenced by the rolling away of the big Jesus rock on this Easter Sunday, if only because they've already been bantered to death in the Parliament House courtyard for years. Get some new material! And that's how we presume the "celebrity" notables will enhance their auction-ready headgear for this year's fabulosity sell-off for charity. The Joy MCC Food Drive will be this year's benefit recipient, thus preventing the need for any more tedious discussions of last suppers, and allowing the Easter Best public presence of city commissioners Patty Sheehan and Daisy Lynum (in the same room! ... oh) alongside the Canadian Parliament House Unger brass, female impersonators and Michael Wanzie. Rumor has it that Sheehan and Wanzie don't get along. (Rumor also has it that Sheehan and a lot of people don't get along.) Be there, if only to see if all involved can "Passover" their problems and keep the bees out of their bonnets. (3 p.m. at the Footlight Theater, Parliament House; $5; 407-425-7571; www.parliamenthouse.com)
The Decemberists, with My Brightest Diamond Though the Decemberists' major-label debut was underwhelming, we worship them for squaring off with comedic talking head Stephen Colbert in a guitar solo challenge. Besides, previous album Picaresque swept us with its storybook intrigue. The minstrel-inspired music woven by these natural raconteurs is made rich by folk flourishes and a narrative style. Though lots of dancing always ensues, their shows are a storytelling session for hipsters and English majors. The use of props — such as a huge whale during "The Mariner's Revenge Song" at their last in-town stop — magnifies the transporting mood that conjures the thrills of childhood imagination. Dream-pop opening act My Brightest Diamond adds another fold of drama with Shara Worden's bewitching voice, which brims with the sultriness of decades past. (7 p.m. at Hard Rock Live; all ages; $22; 407-351-5483; www.hardrock.com)
TV on the Radio, with the noisettes Before "Wolf Like Me" wove its way through virtually every MTV promo spot, TV on the Radio already had an EP and a full-length album behind them. Still, 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain presented the opportunity to polish their experimental quality, and its sonic depth is as gripping as ever (hear "I Was a Lover") but enjoys an indie-rock edge that bends just enough for the mainstream ear to grab hold. On April 9, the band makes the trek from Cookie Mountain down to Orlando for a performance at Club Firestone with post-punk indie outfit the Noisettes. (8 p.m. at Club Firestone; all ages; $17; 407-872-0066; www.clubatfirestone.com)
Mumpsy CD Release Party In this week's bottleneck of performances by national indie heavyweights, the quirkiness of local group Mumpsy stills turns us on. A vehicle for musician Jeff Ilgenfritz (who is perhaps the most incandescent figure in the Post Records scene), his gleeful pop act has evolved tremendously since his charming but inconsistent debut album. In sharp contrast, the new five-song EP, 3 People, is the model of economy, without an ounce of fat. With more hooks than a slaughterhouse, his music is sharper and his palette is wider, with chamber and electronic touches atop his breezy folk-pop. Considering that the promising Heathens will soon meet a woefully premature end, Mumpsy may become the Post family's next rallying point. (with Mike Dunn & the Kings of New England, the Showdown District, DLP and Dance Party; 9 p.m. at Back Booth; $6; 407-999-2570; www.backbooth.com)
Sebadoh Sebadoh's musical brand of pathetic earnestness was once a matter of soul and fire — until quasi-underground demand for the trio plunged in the late 1990s, and they pulled a Chavez. Band members Eric Gaffney — and later, Jason Loewenstein — brought the punk-rock 'tude, and Lou Barlow came incorrect with the pre-mall-emo. But indie-rockers aren't blessed with pension plans, the Folk Implosion quickly fulfilled its titular prophecy, Gaffney and Barlow have momentarily buried their hatchet and that quick infusion of Dinosaur Jr. reunion cash will only get new dad Lou so far. Which is a long-winded way of saying that if "Rebound" was ever your theme song, it's probably time to score a copy of the two-disc III reissue and make arrangements to get your conflicted nostalgia on. (7 p.m. at the Social; $13-$15; 407-246-1419; www.thesocial.org)
Contributors: Ray Cummings, Omar de la Rosa, Jennifer Heimburg, Aya Kawamoto, Bao Le-Huu, Billy Manes, Brittany Middleton, Susie Orr, Deanna Sheffield
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