Horse races, like sex, are about mostly anticipation. And while the Kentucky Derby—like sex—only lasts two minutes, the elaborate celebrations around racing's biggest event last all day. Once the exclusive domain of the upper crust, any jerk in his or her boxer shorts can now stay home and enjoy the Derby on ESPN. But why not spend this Saturday hobnobbing with other jerks? There are really just a few simple steps to making the Derby—or, as we like to call it, the "Super Bowl of animal cruelty"—your bitch. And, they're off!
Women: "Ladies typically wear pastel-colored suits, frilly dresses or bold separates," the Derby's organizers explain. But women of the Derb are also expected to build elaborate, gigantic hats—dubbed "fascinators"—that test the limits of both fashion and neck muscles. You're not just the arm candy of some rich Saudi Prince, you're a trendsetter!
Those looking for something different can watch the Derb on the big screen at the Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan St., mcmenamins.com), which will also be featuring $5 juleps, whiskey tastings and a fancy-hat contest. The Mission will also host punky bluegrass from Water Tower.
[DANCE] The great contemporary dance company returns to Portland with 10 ensemble members performing a musically disparate program. On the one hand, you have North Star, a kind of amoeba-shaped group work set against Philip Glassâ driving score. On the other, thereâs Robert Schumannâs Symphonic Etudes, Little Rhapsodies, which accompanies the companyâs men as they test their athleticism and sensitivity. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, whitebird.org. 7:30 pm. $26-$64.
[MUSIC] Carrie Brownstein and company play hard in concert. The part-Portland quartetâs recent Coachella performance was second to none in terms of intensity; It was wrought with extended solos, whammy-bar noodling and truckloads of distortion. The Sleater-Kinney influence looms, but Wild Flag is its own avant-punk animal altogether. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 9 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages.
INCREDIBLE EDIBLES PLANT SALE
[PLANTS] Like all good Portlanders, you surely have a thriving edible garden, which provides a bounty of nourishing fresh produce to feed your soul and fuel your sense of self-righteousness. But, just in case youâre new around here, the Multnomah County Master Gardeners are holding a sale of organic vegetable starts. All Saints School, 601 NE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. 10 am-3 pm. Free.
[COMICS] Charge your blasters and tell Mom youâll be home lateâitâs Free Comic Book Day. Comic shops across Portland offer special appearances by authors and artists, costume contests and a slew of giveaways. For a complete listing of events, visit freecomicbookday.com.
[SKI/BOARD] Essentially an ugly-sweater party with lift tickets, Timberlineâs traditional Gaper Day has downhillers wearing their dumbest outfits. âExtra points for snowblades!â they say. Timberline Lodge, 27500 E Timberline Road, Government Camp, 231-5402,