Ten Things to Do in Houston for $10 or Less (Eight Free), March 2-8

Anybody partaking in this alcohol-infused vignette would be very drunk indeed. Acenar: Muy Borracho, by the late Chuck Ramirez, is on view in the "SurREAL" exhibit at Octavia Art Gallery, March 2-April 1.
Anybody partaking in this alcohol-infused vignette would be very drunk indeed. Acenar: Muy Borracho, by the late Chuck Ramirez, is on view in the "SurREAL" exhibit at Octavia Art Gallery, March 2-April 1.
Photo courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art

Spring technically doesn't start until March 20, but The Old Farmer’s Almanac-purists aside, the unseasonably warm weather we've been having sure gives us spring fever. Get out and get going because we've got a couple of outdoor fests that celebrate Texas and our diverse culture, a 101 class on biking, plus some edgy art that takes a stab at fascism and societal taboos. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and eight of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.

Frito pie is just one of the temptations at the inaugural Spirit of Texas Festival.EXPAND
Frito pie is just one of the temptations at the inaugural Spirit of Texas Festival.

Spirit of Texas Festival
Wolf Pen Creek Park, College Station
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, free

It's the first time around for the Spirit of Texas Festival, but we suspect it won't be the last for this four-day eating extravaganza that includes three Guinness World Record attempts (world's largest Frito pie, pot of chili and Texas two-step). Thursday's highlights include the interactive Idea Village road show, a hot dog lunch sponsored by the K9s4Cops at 12:30 p.m., a Sons of the Republic re-enactment at 5 and live music beginning at 6 with opener Landon Bullard & The Mostly Sober Band and headliner Jerrett Zoch & the OSR Band. The fun continues through March 5.

Storm #1, by Kenny Morrison, is on view in the "SurREAL" exhibit at Octavia Art Gallery, March 2-April 1.
Storm #1, by Kenny Morrison, is on view in the "SurREAL" exhibit at Octavia Art Gallery, March 2-April 1.
Photo courtesy of Octavia Art Gallery

Kenny Morrison and Chuck Ramirez, "SurREAL"
Octavia Art Gallery
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, free

Inspired by the "something's not quite right" surrealism found in paintings by John Brosio, New Orleans photographer Kenny Morrison has created compelling photographs that draw on his background as both a director and a cinematographer. The stories he tells – and yes, there are tornadoes – push the boundaries of traditional photography. Through special arrangement with Ruiz-Healy Art, we also get a look at the colorful works by the late Chuck Ramirez, an artist and graphic designer from San Antonio best known for turning advertising techniques into photographs and installations that explored cultural identity, mortality and consumerism.

Come check out the art by emerging and established French artists this weekend at Winter Street Studios.EXPAND
Come check out the art by emerging and established French artists this weekend at Winter Street Studios.
Photo courtesy of Citizen Events

France Pavilion
Winter Street Studios
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 to 6 p.m. Sunday, free

Ooh la la. Art and luxury are at the core of this fifth annual showcase of emerging and established French artists. Check out what's happening across the pond: button paintings by Algerian painter Marie Pierre, controversial and provocative photographs that shine light on societal taboos by artistic duo Rudy Noulé and Antoine Vanoverberghe, and the industrial Born Wild sculptures from Richard Orlinski. The ogling is free during the day and those willing to pony up a C-note can come back Friday night for a special Nuit du Champagne reception for muralist and Houston fave Sebastien "Mr. D" Boileau.

Nude by a River, by Bill Hailey, is on view in "Sumatra Paintings" and "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes" at Gspot Contemporary Art Space.EXPAND
Nude by a River, by Bill Hailey, is on view in "Sumatra Paintings" and "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes" at Gspot Contemporary Art Space.
Photo by Bill Hailey

Bill Hailey, "Sumatra Paintings" and "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes"
Gspot Contemporary Art Space
6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, free

Free-spirited Austinite Bill Hailey puts overripe jungle fantasies to canvas in colorful "Sumatra Paintings" that draw from his experiences in Sumatra, Java and Bali. Not content to sit back as our planet takes a turn for the worse, he also will be showing his "Anti-Fascist Still Lifes" that depict floral arrangements from his Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) series, gussied up with symbolic accoutrements. He says he conceived the pieces in response to recent world events and titled the works with a nod to the great Charles Baudelaire. All the cool kids will be at the opener Saturday night, but if you can't make it, Hailey's show is up through April 1.

Originally titled Kingu Kongu tai Gojira, 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla reportedly cost about $200,000 to make and has grossed more than ¥350,000,000 in Japan alone.
Originally titled Kingu Kongu tai Gojira, 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla reportedly cost about $200,000 to make and has grossed more than ¥350,000,000 in Japan alone.
Photo courtesy of Universal Studios

King Kong vs. Godzilla
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Mason Park, Katy
4:15 p.m. Saturday, $9

Somebody's going to get fired for this one. Pharma head honcho Mr. Tako wants to sell growth berries to the public and figures the perfect mascot would be King Kong, who became gargantuan after eating said berries. Tako's pharmaceutical company sets out to capture King Kong and bring him to Japan as an indentured spokesperson, but the giant ape escapes (of course) and soon finds himself battling Godzilla, who has just been thawed from a glacier. It's fun to poke fun at the bad special effects in this 1962 classic as scientists scurry, fireworks explode and the dueling monsters stomp on miniature tanks.



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