LA TRADICIÓN: Quinceañera Expo
When I was 15, my dad's career took us to Mexico. We were staying in a hotel in Mexico City and decided to get our hair cut and styled in the spa there. It was a family business and their teenage daughter was helping out. When she learned my age, she got very excited and asked me if I'd had my quinceañera. I didn't know what that was, so she whipped out a thick photo album and showed me how Latinas celebrate their 15th birthdays: in lavish style. From the voluminous dresses to the horse-drawn Cinderella coach she arrived in, this rite of passage rivaled most weddings I had been to. Later, when we moved to Cozumel, I got to experience quinceañeras for myself.
That experience has always touched me, and so did seeing a Facebook event for the Quinceañera Expo, presented by Quinceañeras Magazine, It seems quinces have become even more opulent since I was a teen, with selfie flower walls, photo booths and even fireworks. The expo will feature a fashion show, food and drink tastings and vendors to cover every aspect of the party. The organizers even suggest that it is ideal for proms and wedding planning as well. And they're raffling off a dress. Friday night they'll have a Pink Party for teens, with a DJ and special pink drinks, and they will be scouting for the magazine's Miss Cover Girl pageant. Admission for that is $5 and teens must be accompanied by someone 25 or older. A portion of the proceeds from the expo benefit a college fund scholarship for Hispanic girls made possible through a partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay. $10, free for 15 and younger. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. The Regent, 6437 Watson Road, Riverview. quinceanerasmagazine.com.
POPUP: Pick a Print
It's St. Petersburg's Second Saturday Art Walk this weekend, when all the galleries stay open late. It's a great time to start or add to a collection. Before you think you can't afford it, know that there is plenty of affordable, original artwork out there. I'd start at the Studio@620, where Coralette Damme, a.k.a. the Crafty Hag, has a popup show of her hand-printed, nature-inspired work titled "Pick a Print." The prints will be hung along lines with clothespins, the way they would dry in her studio, so you can physically pick up your preferred piece. Ranging from $15 to $150, her prices are perfectly practicable. Free. 5-9 p.m. Saturday. 620 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.
ONE YEAR LATER: Zaa's anniversary
St. Petersburg boutique Zaa has been holding it down for a year now, so that's worth a celebration. There will be Champagne, polish changes and hand massages from Paint Nail Bar and a giveaway of a mini backpack stuffed with gift cards from local businesses and other swag. The first 25 customers to spend $75 get a tote with a design from local artist Evan Niemann. Free. 4-7 p.m. Friday. 578 First Ave. N. zaastyle.com.