IT'S FESTIVAL TIME:
This weekend marks the beginning of Baltimore's annual Showcase of Nations Ethnic Festivals season, with two being conducted within reasonable distance from the Inner Harbor.
* The 22nd annual Polish Festival opens at 4 p.m. today in Patterson Park. The festival continues from noon to 10 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the Pulaski Monument. Take East Baltimore Street or Eastern Avenue and look for the crowds. Admission. Information: 563-1800.
* The Latino Festival opens at noon tomorrow and continues until 10 p.m. at Hopkins Plaza, off the southwest corner of Charles and Redwood streets downtown. The festival will continue Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., with music, food, arts and crafts, dances and children's activities both days. Free. Sponsored by the East Baltimore Latino Organization. Information: 732-4911.
An exhibit called Finding Your Way -- how people maneuver around -- opens at the Maryland Science Center tomorrow and runs through Sept. 4. Admission. Information: 685-5225.
* After 14 years at Towson State University's Towson Center, an annual spring antiques show opens tomorrow at the Baltimore Convention Center with 140 dealers from 20 states. Hours are 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. tomorrow and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission. Organizer: Sha-Dor Inc. of Rockville. Information: 244-1087.
* You can help Federal Hillites, if that's the word, conduct their fourth annual South of the Harbor Fun Fest from noon until 7 p.m. Sunday at South Charles and Cross streets, with continuous music from four stages, lots to eat, etc. Proceeds will benefit the South Baltimore Learning Center and the South Baltimore Homeless Shelter. Information: 625-2000.
* You can hear live music for free each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at the Harborplace Amphitheatre throughout the summer, starting tonight. Rock from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. Vocal jazz tomorrow, same hours. Navy jazz and pop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Information: (800) HARBOR-1.
* Minority business contacts are the focus of the 1995 Business Conference and Opportunity Fair on Monday and Tuesday at the Baltimore Convention Center. Sponsor: the Maryland/District of Columbia Minority Supplier Development Council. Information: 997-7599.
Most folks know the term minesweepers, but today's Navy calls them mine countermeasures ships. You'll be able to see one. The USS Avenger, which saw duty during Operations Desert Shield and Storm, is to arrive in port Thursday and put up at the Inner Harbor West Wall, with free afternoon tours next weekend. Information: 837-4636.