FIRE BUFFS, FIREFIGHTERS IN TOWN:
The Baltimore Convention Center is playing host to the 12th annual Great American Firehouse Magazine Expo through Sunday. Vendors will be on hand today and tomorrow selling everything from pins to fire engines. Admission.
From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, the Chesapeake Fire Model Engineers are conducting an invitational exhibit of model firefighting apparatus, including projects from five states, Canada and the District of Columbia. Free.
At 9 a.m. Sunday, more than 120 pieces of antique and modern fire-fighting apparatus will parade through part of downtown. The parade will begin at the Maryland Science Center, work its way north on Light Street to Conway Street, then west to Charles Street, ending at the Convention Center. Free.
After the parade, you can head into the Convention Center, where a fire service flea market will be held until 3:30 p.m. Admission. Information: 659-7300.
If you've ever taken a harbor tour and wondered what that Eastern Orthodox church is off in the distance behind Canton, here's a way to find out. Go there tomorrow or Sunday for the 16th annual Ukrainian Festival.
The festival -- featuring ethnic food, clothing, music and crafts -- will be at St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Eastern and Montford avenues from noon to 7 p.m. Information: 366-4851.
The biggest noise and most organized fun of the weekend is uptown -- at ArtScape '95, in the Mount Royal area. But lots is still going on around the Inner Harbor, too. Among your choices:
* Experience a tattoo. That's as in a military drill, not blue stuff injected under your skin. The tattoo at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Fort McHenry will feature close-order drill and military band music. Free. And as always, it's a great setting. Take your camera. Information: 962-4290.
* Take the kids to see the Creative Opera Ensemble perform "Hansel and Gretel" at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Rash Field's Kauffman Pavilion, beside the Maryland Science Center. On Thursday the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre will present "Lights Out on the Bunny Brothers," same place, same time. Free.
* Hear about the literary Chesapeake on a lecture-cruise aboard the Minnie V, a skipjack owned by the Maryland Historical Society which regularly sails the harbor. In harbor cruises from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Frank Shivers will discuss works written in the Chesapeake area by Edgar Allan Poe, H. L. Mencken and others. Admission. Information: 685-3750.
* Listen to three evenings of free music at the Harborplace Amphitheatre. Tonight, Honor Among Thieves, a club band, will play rock favorites from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tomorrow night, bassist Gerald Veasley will play contemporary jazz from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Sunday night, the Alte Kameraden brass band will perform German and Austrian music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free. Information: 332-4191.