Kentucky Exposition Center
937 Phillips Lane
Free; 8 a.m.
Oh my goodness, look at how adorable that alpaca is! If you’re like me and say that often, this is your weekend. Free — let me reiterate that, this is a free weekend of alpacas in Louisville. Why? Why not? OK, technically this is the national show of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association of Nashville. The AOBA “serves to facilitate the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the growth and development of the national herd and its products.” So, I guess we’re not eating them anytime soon? Just kidding! Everyone who’s anyone in the alpaca world will be there, and don’t forget to bring cameras. We’re told you can “talk to hundreds of breeders and meet over 1,000 alpacas face-to-face, all under one roof.” Talk about meeting cute! —Peter Berkowitz
Saturday, May 26
102 Bauer Ave. • 894-8030
$10 ($5 women and military); 8 p.m.
“Desert Rose: An Arabic Showcase” is an evening of music performed by artists who have emigrated to Louisville from the Middle East. Some are also visual artists and have grown accustomed to traveling to cities with larger Middle Eastern populations, such as Chicago and Detroit, to perform and socialize. World music writer Alexander Campbell and Louisville Free Public Library (Iroquois Branch) immigrant services librarian Sophie Maier, both of whom have dedicated time and energy to helping such artists find a place in Louisville’s art and social world, teamed up to present this showcase. Mousa Alradwan (oud, drums), Mousa Al Taub (oud) and Mohammad Alabede (keyboards) are among the scheduled musicians, and DJs and belly dancers will join in the celebration. And we hear that traditional Middle Eastern drinks — both non-alcoholic and alcoholic — will be available. —Peter Berkowitz
Saturday, May 26
Headliners Music Hall
1386 Lexington Road • 584-8088
$25; 9 p.m.
Michael Franti has always impressed us as a fun yet serious artist. This San Francisco poet, filmmaker and children’s author most famously functions as a peace-loving musician who travels the world promoting social justice and performing shoeless. Since his emergence as a festival favorite in the early 1990s, Franti’s recorded work has ranged from the mellow ganja-flavored tracks on Front Porch Songs to the catchy, if angry, anthems that comprise his classic anti-war album, Yell Fire. But of late, Franti has been delivering less controversial, more radio-friendly (well, WFPK-friendly, at least) releases like All Rebel Rockers and The Sound of Sunshine. He returns to town Saturday with his rock-reggae-rap ensemble, Spearhead, for an intimate performance. If you have a conscience and you like to dance, this is one show that ought not to be missed. Nic Cowen opens. —Kevin M. Wilson
$3; 11:30 a.m.
This Memorial Day weekend, Chez Moi will offer race fans a chance to turn their winnings into something pretty to hang over the mantle. In addition to original works of art, the gallery will bring an ambitious, multimedia lineup to the track, featuring a “festive mix” of performing arts, film, hands-on children’s activities, and live bluegrass, blues and roots music. More than 500 artists’ booths and 15-20 larger gallery tents will fill the Infield, all while normal racing activities take place. Access to “The Experience” is included with general admission. The three-day festival also aims to raise awareness for charities like Home of the Innocents, Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Services Center Coalition/AIDS Walk, Fairness Campaign and the Churchill Downs Inc. Foundation. —J. Christian Walsh