Of course you remember the Alamo, even if you haven't bothered to see the latest flick about it. And you better remember about Cinco de Mayo, too. It deserves some serious run as a significant day in U.S./Mexican history. Had loyalist Mexican soldiers not fought off France's armies on May 5, 1862, our beloved Texas could have been a southern Quebec. Your brief history lesson is complete; it's time to party. Grab the family and head to Minute Maid Park (501 Crawford) this Saturday, May 1, at 10 a.m. for LULAC's annual Cinco de Mayo Parade. This year's theme is "A Salute to the Armed Forces," with tunes supplied by local high school marching bands. At 8 p.m., head back downtown to The Main Event (400 Main) for the Latin stylings of Jose-Miguel with Amy Felan and the Transformations. Added bonus: Open containers are allowed via a conveniently placed beer stand.
After all that partying on Saturday night, you might want to take it easy on Sunday, May 2, so grab a blanket and a date and head to Miller Outdoor Theatre (100 Concert Drive) at 3 p.m. for an outdoor party featuring Ballet Folklórico, live music from Jennifer Peña and more.
And then comes the day itself: Wednesday, May 5. Head over to Talento Bilingue de Houston (333 South Jensen) at 7:30 p.m. for a screening of La Ley de Herodes, Luis Estrada's 2000 flick about a janitor-turned-mayor in a small Mexican town. And what's a party without food? Check out spots like Jalapeños (2702 Kirby) or Cabo (6025 Richmond) for Cinco de Mayo-themed menus. Or, if you prefer to keep the fun at home, head to Sur la Table (1996 West Gray), grab some posh margarita pitchers and throw your own Cinco fiesta. Just don't forget to raise one for the guys who made sure we'd never tip our hats and say "bonjour." -- Steven Devadanam
Guests of the state in Huntsville have a lot of time on their hands. While some pick up the shiv, a surprisingly large number pick up the paintbrush. Works of art created by 15 currently incarcerated prisoners will be on display in the Texas Prisonland Collective's "Prison Inmate Art" exhibition. "Do we send criminals to prison in hopes of reforming them, or are we simply providing a place for them to rot?" asks Lou Flores of the collective. "Sometimes we find beauty where we least expect it, and here, they contribute something positive to society." Not to mention spruce up a drab, gray cell. 8 p.m. Friday, April 30. Through Friday, May 14. Super Happy Fun Land, 2610 Ashland. For information, call 713-880-2100 or visit www.superhappyfunland.com. Free. -- Bob Ruggiero
Ticket to the Ward
Nothing can make you feel more worthless than Houston's traffic court. It's a cattle call where you have to fight for parking and pay hefty fees. Next time you're circling the block for the tenth time looking for parking -- cursing yourself for running that stop sign when you were hungover -- take a moment to look around. You're actually in a historic part of Houston. The historic Sixth Ward has the largest concentration of Victorian homes in the region, outside of Galveston. Yes, Houston does have some historic buildings older than the Astrodome. Take a peep inside six selected homes this weekend during the Old Sixth Ward Victorian Home Tour. The Sixth Ward is located, um, next to traffic court, bounded by Memorial Drive, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington Avenue and Houston Avenue -- but you already knew that. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 2. Buy tickets at 1900 Kane. For information, visit www.old6ward.org. $10. -- Melissa Richter
How the West Was Won
The Westheimer Street Festival settles in
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Sure, there's nothing exactly noteworthy about an albino boa constrictor or a two-foot lizard. Unless, of course, they become neck adornments for a tattooed young woman. And maybe you get your hair braided all the time, but have you ever had your locks woven by four hippies while sitting on a street curb? Once, those images were commonplace at the Westheimer Street Festival. But when a tiny group of Montrose residents and business owners got pissy, the fest was moved to Allen Parkway. Thankfully, WestFest is back where it belongs, and producer John Florez promises the flavor is returning: "You've got the family in front of Ruggles drumming, kids doing magic, the jousting -- it's all back," he says. Will the cops shut down the street when the throngs pack Westheimer? Park your car, take a bus and find out. Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2. Westheimer at Montrose. For information, visit www.westheimerfestival.com. Free. --Steven Devadanam
In Our Name
Amy Goodman's radio broadcasts on Pacifica are the antithesis of Fox News. There ain't no sugarcoating in her news nuggets. If you have any doubts, just check out the title of her first book, co-written with David Goodman: The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them. Goodman will speak this weekend at the Edwin Hornberger Conference Center. And lest you think she's going to limit her lecture to Bush-bashing, you should know that she hasn't pissed off only the right side of the political spectrum. Slick Willie Clinton himself said her book was "hostile, combative and even disrespectful." 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2. 2151 West Holcombe. For information, call 713-527-0123. $15 to $20. -- Keith Plocek