Press Picks

722 Washington, 862-4548. $10.

july 17
Miss Schlitterbahn Some lucky babe will win this coveted title in the third annual Texas Bikini Invitational. Said babe, and two runners-up, will also win cash and prizes worth $5,700. The pageant will be held at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark's wave pool stage and is a free spectator event for guests of the park. Non-competitive babes in bikinis, or those uninterested in babes in bikinis, can enjoy the always cool spring-fed waters of the park's rides and pools. Park hours 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Texas Bikini Invitational 1 p.m. Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 400 N. Liberty, New Braunfels, (210) 625-2351. Children 3-11, $14.66; adults 12 and up, $17.91.

Sarah Hickman Homegirl and MTV fixture Sarah Hickman has another CD in the bins at your local music store. The tousle-headed, currently blond Hickman and her toothy grin will be in town to celebrate the release of Necessary Angels, more rocking folksy stuff with a heavy social consciousness. Hickman, even after her success guaranteed that she could have her pick of financially rewarding gigs, still does a lot of low-money, high-karma shows, singing for the disenfranchised and the suffering. Quite the cause-hound, she, and in keeping with that theme, this party opens with a smoke-free show.

These things really seem to be catching on. We shudder to think what this means. Hickman, despite her travels through AIDS hospices, cancer wards and under-funded homes for the aged, continues to have a positive attitude and an open mind. She is having a second, so-called "pub show," too, for old-fashioned lounge lizards. Advance tickets for reserved seating are available at the venue.

7 p.m. smoke-free; 9:30 p.m. pub show. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $12.

july 18
This is Your Life, Bruce Pilkenton The nationally famous jockey comes home, now that he has a place to work at the Sam Houston Race Park. Pilkenton's friends, family and fans will gather at the Texas Longhorn Saloon for a party celebrating his return, hosted by Race Park announcer Rick Mocklin. For the innocent fans, the party promises prizes, drink specials and dance lessons. For Pilkenton, Mocklin has planned a This is Your Life rundown of his career on quarter horses such as Refrigerator, a career that includes the All American Futurity and Leading Rider titles.

As an Aldine High schoolboy, Pilkenton crossed the Sabine to ride at Delta Downs on weekends. After graduation, he worked in Ruidoso until he was good enough to don silks for a Grade 1 race. He went on to be a serious quarter-horse jockey. Now that we have the sport of kings in Texas, the top-ranked rider is glad to be back home. Welcome Pilkenton, and enjoy a generous buffet. The first 750 people who stop by will get free passes to the track. Invitations are required for admission; to get an invitation card, call 639-3955. 7 p.m. Texas Longhorn Saloon, 800 Northwest Mall. Free. Cash bar, with reduced drink prices.

july 19
Lunar landing's silver anniversary Meet a modern American astronaut! See a simulacrum of Sputnik! Feast your eyes on all manner of Soviet spaceware at this Space City salute to our big step in the space race, the safe return of our astronauts to Earth and, most important, to what the future holds. For five days the Astrodome Complex will be humming with Astro-events -- symposia, an expo, sports events and more high-tech toys than you ever dreamed possible.

What the future holds, one hopes, is an army of new Americans, a clear-eyed future generation with no math phobia and plenty of solid science education. The educational exhibits are devoted to that end. This new generation, with not a Beavis or Butt-head among them, will frolic through space in a brotherhood of 'nauts.

One of the highlights of the space expo is a model of the Mir orbital station, the Russian space station. Right now, the real thing is spinning through space, mostly serving as the site of biomedical studies concerned with long-duration space flight. Pilots stay up there for months. (One cosmonaut went up from the Soviet Union and returned to Russia.) In early spring of next year, our shuttle will dock with the Mir and 'nauts will be exchanged. This space carpool is exactly the thing shuttle designers had in mind....July 16-20. Astrodomain, Kirby at Loop 610, 567-8325. Call for price info.

New sculpture unveiling Brower Hatcher will be honored when his newest work, The Edge of Sky, is put on display as part of the ongoing downtown beautification. Two Allen Center, recently remodeled, is also part of the process.

Hatcher is an internationally known artist. The nature of this latest work, however, is not being revealed just yet. Suspense and the hope of surprise, it is thought, will bring people out. Frankly, anything new to do for lunch is always a big draw, whether one works downtown, in the Galleria area or in Tomball.

See a new building, new artwork and enjoy a break in your noon-time routine. Noon, Two Allen Center, South Lobby, 1200 Smith, 651-1515. Free.

july 20
The Secret of Life on Earth We continue to suggest that good, hardworking Houstonians sneak off in the middle of a workday afternoon to the sepulchral cool and quiet of the Museum of Natural History.

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