Last weekend, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center was packed with cars, cars, cars for the Silicon Valley Auto Show. This weekend's going to be much different.

There's going to be about 3,000 participants at Further Confusion -- the annual "furry" gathering -- and maybe 15,000 more at the medicinal marijuana powwow HempCon, which are taking place at the same time. If that wasn't enough, there's a girls volleyball tournament going on, too. Now, that's a show I would pay to see on Netflix.

Just a hint, but conservative-minded folks might want to shield their eyes around the convention center with all this alternative lifestyling going on. I wouldn't worry too much about all these crowds mixing, though. The pot folks tend to be a generally mellow, if sometimes stinky, crowd. And the furries -- people who enjoy making and wearing animal costumes that are sometimes pretty elaborate -- can be a fun group to hang around with, too.

However, I'm a tad worried about fighting for parking with the competitive sports parents. Some of them can get downright scary.

NEW POET LAUREATE: Nils Peterson and Sally Ashton are hard acts to follow but finding a different voice doesn't seem to be a problem for David Perez, who was selected Tuesday to succeed those great local poets as Santa Clara County's third Poet Laureate.

With the help of Silicon Valley Creates, the county board of supervisors appoints the poet laureate to a two-year term with the job of elevating poetry in Santa Clara County and engaging the county's residents. I'm looking forward to seeing how Perez, who graduated from UC-Santa Cruz in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in fiction writing and published a collection, "Love in the Time of the Robot Apocalypse" in 2011, meets that challenge over the next two years.

ART OF INFLUENCE: San Jose artist Andre Hart should have a good crowd for his solo exhibition Saturday at the Citadel Gallery, which is at the artists complex of the same name on Fifth and Martha streets in San Jose.

The show, "I'm an American Artist. Whatever That Means," includes a retrospective of his previous work, some new paintings from the past year, live music and even a drag queen performance. No doubt, though, the centerpiece will be "The American Artist," a painting that measures 65 feet and depicts many of the artists that have influenced the 23-year-old Hart's work over the past five years.

The reception starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/spizarro.