Feel the Heat

There's a lot more to Latin music than salsa and merengue. Check out KNON 89.3-FM's fourth annual Latin Energy Festival, one of the summer's first all-day concerts, to get a rich sampling of modern Latin music sounds--Norteno, rock en Español, Latin rap, hip-hop, Latin dance, freestyle and more. Featured acts include Grupo Massore, Lil Flip, DJ Laz, Stevie B, N.B. Ridaz, Dino Latino, Gemini, Eurika, Havana NRG, Tio, II Kold Syndicate, Grupo Amistad, Chris Diaz and Mony Mone. Also, about 20 KNON "The Voice of the People" mixmasters keep the festival's urban rhythms pounding on their own Energy Mix Stage. When your ears start ringing more than you can take, begin pigging out on the vast variety of Latin American cuisine at Hispanic Restaurant Association food festival A Taste of Latin America. Contrary to popular opinion, Latin food does not simply equal Mexican food, often equated with separate food genre Tex-Mex. Featuring far more than fajitas and enchiladas, Latin America's Central and South American countries' palates are accounted for at the food festival, along with dishes from multiple regions of Mexico. Even Spain managed to get in on the action. (What a surprise.) Sunday's KNON Latin music festival takes place in the Arts District at Annette Strauss Artist Square, 1800 Leonard St. between Ross Avenue and Woodall Rodgers Freeway, noon to 10 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and available at all Albertson's stores. Call 214-828-9500. A Taste of Latin America is at Fair Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Call 214-637-1080. --Cheryl Smith

Creature Feature
In the midst of the summer concert season, it's nice to see that animals have their own annual festival to look forward to. It's called PetPallooza, and the event's primary aim is to promote responsible pet ownership. This year, Animal Planet has sent its very own Dr. Robert Taylor from the Emergency Vets series to speak about pet care. The petstravaganza benefits the Humane Society of North Texas, which will be offering low-cost vaccinations and pet adoption through the on-site adoption center, two things Dr. Taylor is sure to talk about. Now in its sixth year, the all-day festival offers such activities as pet photos and caricatures, a pet and owner look-a-like contest, stage entertainment, contests, games and a bounce house. PetPallooza is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at River Legacy Park, 701 N.W. Green Oaks Blvd. in Arlington. Call 817-861-2576. --David Wilson

Go West
A sidewalk sale with panache
We thought the title West Fest was monopolized by the annual German brewski-thon in the tiny town of West, Texas, until we heard about the West Fest block party at Dallas' West Village Shopping Center at McKinney and Lemmon avenues. It's a bit less folksy, and more cosmopolitan, than its quaint, kolache-crafting Central Texas counterpart with live music, international food and chichi merchants like Ann Taylor, Trumeau, Bella Bella and Design House Stockholm peddling their wearable wares on the sidewalk. On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the retailers will be outside with the restaurants, which include Taco Diner, Tom Tom Noodle House, Celebrity, Paciugo and Paris Vendome. Performing arts will abound, with dancers, face painters, poets and musicians, plus an art show by local artists and on-the-spot backside caricatures called "Butt Sketches." West Fest is free; call 214-754-5900. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Boiling Point
Great taste leaves a lot of waste

Eating crawfish isn't very rewarding. Basically it's a lot of effort for a little bit of meat. Find out for yourself at Crawfish Fest in the West End where hordes of Cajun food lovers will be ripping the little red critters apart, tearing off legs and sucking juice out of the heads. (Crawfish aren't naturally spicy; the flavor comes from the spices in the boiling water.) Vegetarians will want to steer clear of the West End on Saturday, but Aggies will be there in droves since the festival is presented by the Dallas chapter of the Texas A&M Association of Former Students, with proceeds going toward scholarships for inner-city children. The festival also features the usual children's activities, arts-and-crafts booths and live music of the country and rock variety. It's Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. in the West End Historic District. Admission is free. Call 214-855-1515. --Jay Webb

The Big Pickup
They may guzzle gas and torture the environment, but trucks are a Texas tradition, big, bold reminders of the greatness of our state. And their owners can be pretty entertaining, too, sometimes. For example, seen in a Whataburger drive-through lane: a rust-colored pickup truck with the phrase "Willie Nelson For President" spelled out on the back windshield in gold, stick-on mailbox letters. A classic Texas moment. Now, truck-lovers, there's an event just for you: the 2003 Texas Truck and SUV Show. So put up that tailgate, sweep away some of those Coors Light cans and head to Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, for the two-day (May 31 and June 1) extravaganza. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children. Visit www.texastruckandsuvshow.com. --Rhonda Reinhart

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