Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Feb 9–11, 2024

Petit Troll Parade, Lunar New Year Night Market, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
February 9, 2024
For double happiness, head to Lucky Envelope's Lunar New Year Kick-Off and try the Dragonfruit Wheat, which was made in collaboration with Highland Brewing. (Lucky Envelope Brewing via Facebook)
This weekend, your only problem will be deciding which of these thrifty-and-nifty events to spend your time at. Read on for all of your options, from the Lunar New Year Night Market and a Lunar New Year Kick-Off at Lucky Envelope Brewing to the Petit Troll Parade and the Wild Cure Art Exhibit opening reception. For more ways to spend your weekend, check out our guide to the top events of the week and our Super Bowl watch party calendar.

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Happiness in 35mm Past Event List
Your internet besties (former Stranger staff writer Jas Keimig and former editor Chase Burns) will introduce the February 9 screening of Happiness, which has no recent home video or streaming release, as part of their ongoing project Unstreamable. Burns and Keimig have written "more than 350 (!) blurbs and reviews about offbeat, forgotten, and otherwise unobtainable pieces of cinematic history" (Matt Baume), and the project has since blossomed from the Scarecrow Video blog column into a live screening series. Dark comic misery master Todd Solondz's Happiness, screening here in 35mm, is a testament to his ability to entangle the darkly disturbing with the somehow hilarious. Plus, Philip Seymour Hoffman is in it (RIP), which is my favorite reason to watch anything. LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11)

Wild at Heart Past Event List
Starring three of my absolute favorite messy queens (Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, and Willem Dafoe), David Lynch's lurid melodrama Wild at Heart follows two outcast hotties who flee their hometown to pursue a torrid, surreal romance. What ensues is a sex-fueled road trip fit for a soap opera, which seems like it'd be pretty cool, until the grotesquely terrifying Bobby Peru shows up and ruins everything. Cue up Cage's rendition of "Love Me Tender" to get in the mood for madness. LC
(Central Cinema, Central District, $12)


BOOTS! 60s Dance Party à Go-Go Past Event List
Take your boo (and your boots) out on the town for this 1960s-themed Valentine's Day ball. All-vinyl DJs will spin a lively blend of vintage rock and soul love songs all night long with slow-dance breaks on the hour. There will also be cupid-themed go-go dancers, a kissing booth (you still have time to get those lips moisturized!), and a Valentine's card-making station. AV (Sunset Tavern, Ballard, $15)


Evening Low Tide Beach Exploration Past Event List
We know that people love a long walk on a beach, but what about at night? Head over to West Seattle to explore the living wonders of tide pools and sand pockets during nighttime low tide. Beach naturalists from the Seattle Aquarium will guide you and share fun facts about crabs, squid, sea stars, and more! Sturdy boots that can get wet and a bright flashlight or headlamp are recommended for maximum enjoyment. SL
(Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint, Alki, free)


Wild Cure Art Exhibit Past Event List
Centering each artist's relationship to nature and the "healing it provides," Wild Cure includes works by 11 local creatives, including heavy hitters Colleen RJC Bratton, Nat Evans, and many others. The multimedia works—including paintings, drawings, sound art, fiber pieces, sculptures, and found objects—were curated to create a healing space, but it also sounds pretty cozy. Several of the installations are meant to be touched, and visitors are encouraged to take time for contemplation while wrapping themselves in a handcrafted blanket by Rachel Grunig. LC
(Slip Gallery, Belltown, free)



Bandit Theater Presents: First Date Past Event List
I'm fortunate enough to have never been on a blind date, but that doesn't mean I don't want to watch two strangers go through the whole rigamarole on a theater stage. Enter First Date, Bandit Theater's newest solution to loneliness; they'll set up two folks looking for love and the audience will watch them succeed or crash and burn. Then, a team of improvisers will devise comedy based on how the date went. Hey, they do say laughter makes you sexier. LC
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)


She Is Conann Past Event List
There have been plenty of cinematic incarnations of the Conan mythos, but never has there been one quite like French filmmaker Bertrand Mandico’s She Is Conann. Telling the story of Conann through six different incarnations across time, it is a visually gorgeous journey worth taking in on the big screen. Dancing with death at every turn before launching into each new rebirth with plenty of flair, it is all guided by a Cerberus of sorts bearing a camera with almost magical properties. With each demise, a new world is discovered with plenty of pleasures and perils to be uncovered. It’s a scrappy fantasy vision inflected with sci-fi elements that, while not for everyone, may also get your head spinning. Put simply, this isn't your grandfather's Conan. Like peering into an increasingly hellish world that, much like its titular character, is constantly shifting before you, it is a bold film best experienced by letting its visceral visions wash over you. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11)

Saturday Secret Matinees 2024 Remind List
If you're a sucker for old-school cinema with an element of surprise, this recurring series has your name written allll over it. Grand Illusion will continue a longstanding tradition with its 16th season of matinee classics screened alongside a secret feature film every Saturday, all in dreamy 16mm. The series continues this weekend with "Revenge Westerns," in which two undisclosed actors will "redefine the genre." LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11 tickets, $66 series pass)


Soup Club: In Person Remind List
I gotta focus, I'm shifting into soup mode. Cookbook author and "soup lady" Caroline Wright, who received a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in 2017, will set up in front of Book Larder and sling cozy, soul-soothing goodness inspired by her cookbook, Soup Club. (She's also currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the follow-up, Seconds: More Plant-Based, No-Broth Soup and Stew Recipes from One Soup Cook to Another, which will be printed at the local woman-owned print shop Girlie Press and stocked exclusively at Book Larder.) All proceeds benefit the National Brain Tumor Society, the largest nonprofit organization in the country dedicated to the brain tumor community. JB
(Book Larder, Fremont, free)


Linda From Work, Forty Feet Tall, and Dark Chisme Past Event List
KEXP’s Martin Douglas wrote of Linda From Work's debut LP: "Burnout fully displays their gifts as an emergent force in Seattle’s ever-crowded rock scene, ruminating on failed relationships and a pernicious lack of healthy sleeping habits." They'll bust out of the 9-to-5 grind for some vicious indie garage rock alongside the Portland post-punk quartet Forty Feet Tall and new wave duo Dark Chisme. AV
(Barboza, Capitol Hill, $15)

TV Star, Bug Bath, Spiral XP, and Sunspots Past Event List
Seattle-based five-piece TV Star will take over the Vera with swirling psych-rock melodies that revive the kaleidoscopic sounds of Paisley Underground heavies like Mazzy Star, Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Spiritualized. They will support their recently released joint EP, TVXP, with collaborators Spiral XP, grunge quartet Bug Bath, and indie rock project Sunspots. AV
(Vera Project, Uptown, $15)


Lunar New Year Brunch Market Past Event List
Join the Korean cafe and deli Ohsun Banchan and its in-house market Anyoung Super for a special Lunar New Year edition of their monthly brunch market. You'll get to grab coffee and seasonal drink specials like tangerine mochas from the cart Bloom Coffee Co., savor slices of cake from Paper Cake Shop, and pick up gorgeous paper goods and handmade trinkets from artists Julisha Kim, Lauren Nishizaki, and Odd Rabbits. JB
(Ohsun Banchan Deli and Cafe)

Lunar New Year Kick-Off at Lucky Envelope Brewing Past Event List
Cofounders Raymond Kwan and Barry Chan named their Ballard craft brewery Lucky Envelope for the colorful red envelopes traditionally stuffed with money and given out on Chinese New Year to bring good fortune, so it only makes sense that it's the perfect place to ring in the Year of the Wood Dragon. The festivities kick off with the release of their fifth Highland Brewing collaboration brew Highland Brewing collaboration brew, Year of the Dragon: Dragonfruit Wheat, as well as Power and Elegance, an oolong tea lager made in collaboration with Austin Beerworks. Panda Dim Sum will sling Chinese cuisine from a converted school bus from 3-8 pm, and Year of the Wood Dragon T-shirts will be available for sale. And in case you needed an extra incentive to get there early, red envelopes will be distributed to the first guests to arrive. (Lucky Envelope Brewing, West Woodland, free)

Lunar New Year Night Market Past Event List
Seattle's largest indoor night market is celebrating Lunar New Year with an adults-only evening of entertainment, delicious eats, and a makers’ market full of wares and treats from dozens of AAPI-owned businesses. On our hit list: checking out the drunken lion dance and more dance performances from K-POP Seattle, slurping hot noods from Oh Dang, and browsing delightfully cute creations from Peachy x Noodle. There will even be a bar dedicated to two of Seattle's favorite things: alcohol and boba—a dream come true! General admission tickets are just $15, but for ten bucks more you can treat yourself to "All Day Happy Hour," which includes a tote bag, access to the express bar, and two drink tickets. SL
(Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point, $15-$25)

PNA’s Annual Lunar New Year Celebration Past Event List
The Phinney Neighborhood Association's new annual Lunar New Year event, planned in the spirit of their Día de los Muertos and Holi celebrations, will slither to life with this Year of the Dragon affair. The event aims to unite North Seattle to celebrate Asian cultures, and will come complete with lantern-making, a lion dance, and taiko performances. Bring cash to donate to the organization in traditional red envelopes, which portend good fortune for 2024. LC
(Phinney Center Community Hall, Phinney Ridge, free)


T4T: All Trans & Non-Binary Drag Show Past Event List
This by-trans, for-trans drag show hosted by Bee’Uh BombChelle promises a glam evening of drag delicacies. Performers include artsy divas and crowd faves like Siren St. James, Hot Pink Shade, D'Mon, and It Girl Solana Solstice. LC
(Timbre Room, Downtown, $15-$20)



Black Ice: An American Sitcom Improvised Past Event List
Devised in the style of Norman Lear's '70s-era American sitcoms (think All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and Good Times), Unexpected Productions's Black Ice will channel the elements that made these shows pretty damn great—they often grappled with political and social themes while maintaining an approachable, disarming vibe. Audience members will offer suggestions to the comedian cast and provide the laugh track, so get your weirdest guffaw ready. LC
(Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market, $8-$20)


Petit Troll Parade Past Event List
Fremont loves their quirky parades, and we love them for it! Celebrate Mardi Gras this weekend as the annual Petit Troll Parade marches around the Fremont Sunday Market with a 17-piece brass band, handmade miniature floats, and Second Line-style umbrellas. All are welcome to join in the parade, where beads, colorful costumes, and enthusiasm are much encouraged. The parade kicks off at noon in Evanston Plaza. SL
(Fremont Sunday Market, Fremont, free)


Camp Napalm Presents: David Cronenberg's Shivers Past Event List
Maybe you don't get down with Valentine's Day, or maybe you and your partner are diehard fans of squicky cinema. Either reason makes this screening of David Cronenberg's Shivers, which follows a parasitic infestation that causes sexual madness, a solid choice for pre-Valentine's movie-watching. (Assume that, like, every trigger warning imaginable is at play here. Love ya, Cronenberg!) Scream queens Mae Flood and Princess Charming will add their signature wit to the deranged Camp Napalm screening, which will celebrate demented lovers everywhere. LC
(Central Cinema, Central District, $14)

Dietrich & Von Sternberg: Dress for The Image Past Event List
I'm taking notes from Marlene Dietrich, who once said, "I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men." As Hollywood director Josef von Sternberg sought out the next screen siren, his working relationship with Dietrich became the stuff of legend: The pair made bliss, beauty, and opulence come to life on screen in six Paramount-produced films throughout the '30s. Dietrich did it all—she was a "sultry chanteuse, a cunning spy, and the hedonistic Catherine the Great," for starters—and von Sternberg's chiaroscuro lighting captured it all. Dress for the image and head to the Beacon for screenings of all six of the films, continuing with The Scarlet Empress this weekend. LC
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50)


Yuma Abe with David Plell Past Event List
Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Yuma Abe is regularly compared to Mac Demarco, which I think is odd, given that Demarco is so clearly derivative of proto-punk legend Jonathan Richman. I'd rather cut to the chase and give credit where it's due; Abe and Richman share a knack for breezy, sincere, unpretentious pop songwriting (no shade to you, Mr. Demarco). Abe's new mini-album, Surprisingly Alright, welcomes '60s-’70s Wamono-style grooves and Brazilian rhythms for fifteen minutes of pure pop bliss. If you're looking for a feel-good album to get you through the final days of winter, this is it! AV
(Sunset Tavern, Ballard, $17)


Celebrate the Lunar New Year at BAM! Past Event List
The Bellevue Arts Museum will ring in the Year of the Dragon with jianzhi, aka Chinese paper cutting, a traditional medium wherein complex designs are hand-cut from red paper. Attendees can create and decorate their own red envelope, a gesture of good fortune that's typically filled with money and gifted to loved ones during the celebration. After the craft session, don't miss the Lunar New Year dance performance by the Huayin Performing Arts Group. LC
(Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, free)


Women’s Barrio Marketplace - A Valentines Gathering Past Event List
Struggling with what to buy your loved ones for Valentine's Day? Find the perfect gift while supporting women-owned businesses at this barrio marketplace with over 30 vendors, delicious food, mocktails, music, family activities, and more. You can snag screen-printed apparel from Spill The Tee, grab Filipino treats from LeLu's Bakery, and pick up an adorable hand-painted and hand-poured candle from Dot Candle. Entrance is free but registration is recommended, so make sure you snag a spot at this link. SL
(Level Seattle, South Lake Union, free)


Pier 62 Fire Pit Remind List
We know the waterfront hardly sounds appealing in winter weather, but the Friends of Waterfront Seattle are lighting a fire right before dusk on every Sunday for the next couple of weeks for folks to gather ‘round. Go for a nice little walk and enjoy sunset views of Rainier and the Olympics (on a clear day) or simply soak up the cozy campfire vibes. The fires are weather-dependent, so if it's pouring rain or (god forbid) snowing, they might skip that weekend. SL
(Pier 62, Downtown, free)



Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign Remind List
An often-overlooked 1968 social justice movement confronted poverty head-on and reimagined American activism, but you've probably never heard of it. The Smithsonian's traveling exhibition Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign looks closely at the nearly six-week-long protest, which took place in a constructed "Resurrection City" in DC and drew attention to the impact of poverty on Americans. Everyone from rural Appalachians to residents of Puerto Rico and Native communities showed up for demonstrations and demands for jobs, living wages, access to health care, and more. Organized by Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, the Poor People's Campaign was the "first large-scale, nationally organized demonstration to take place after King’s death." Head to this exhibition to learn more about it through photographs, oral histories, and political ephemera. LC
(Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, $0-$14, Friday-Sunday)


American Fiction Remind List
If the words "incisive literary satire" perk up your ears, then boy, does director Cord Jefferson have the film for you!! In his new dramedy (an adaptation of Percival Everett’s Erasure), Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a novelist who's understandably aggravated by the establishment that profits from "Black" entertainment and its exhausting tropes. When Monk writes a book under a pen name, he finds himself paddling in the same phony waters he admonished in the first place. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Poor Things Past Event List
Real Lanthimos heads know that he doesn't direct anything without dystopic, black comedy underpinnings and plotlines that make audiences ponder why they're on the planet at all. He is weird, as directors should be, and you're either in or you're out. This time around, he's adapted a '92 Scottish novel for the screen, painting the picture of a young woman (played by Emma Stone, who is raven-haired and looks charmingly bananas) brought back to life by an unorthodox scientist (played by my famous dad, Willem Dafoe). Best part? Poor Things "saved" my other dad, Mark Ruffalo, from "depressed dad typecasting." Praise be. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

The Sweet East Past Event List
The Sweet East is the directorial debut of an artist, Sean Price Williams, who has made his mark as a cinematographer. Williams has worked closely with the Safdie brothers (watch Good Time), Alex Ross Perry (watch Listen Up Philip), and Abel Ferrara (watch Zeros and Ones). He also lensed Nathan Silver's Between the TemplesThe Sweet East, which he shot and directed (no small feat), is a road movie that travels across post-pandemic and post-BLM America. It stars Talia Ryder and Ayo Edebiri (Bottoms). Its world premiere occurred at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. It should not be missed. See you at Columbia City's the Beacon. (And, yes, I recently enjoyed drinking with Williams at one of my favorite Manhattan bars, The Library.) STRANGER SENIOR WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50, Friday-Sunday)

The Zone of Interest Past Event List
If you've been keeping up with A24's films by international directors lately, including solid entries like After Yang and Dream Scenario, you're probably already jazzed for The Zone of Interest, which is a co-production between the US, the UK, and Poland. Filmmaker Jonathan Glazer (who directed the Scarlett Johansson-as-an-extraterrestrial flick Under the Skin) tells the story of a Nazi commandant and his family, who attempt to build a happy life near the Auschwitz concentration camp. Call me presumptuous, but uh, I'm not rooting for them. The film has been shortlisted for Best International Feature at this year's Oscars. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Elizabeth Malaska: Like Honey Among Thorns Past Event List
If you're into Elizabeth Malaska's solo exhibition All Be Your Mirror, currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum, I have a humble suggestion for you: more Elizabeth Malaska. Like Honey Among Thorns, presented in conjunction with Malaska's SAM show, further explores the murky depths of what makes her work great; expect more moody figures, subtle patterning, and drippy, gestural flora and fauna forms. Materials run the gamut from Study for One Leopard, a stark rendering of (you guessed it) a leopard in charcoal, to pensive horses in Flashe and trickling flowers in sumi ink. LC
(Greg Kucera Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Enter the Forest Past Event List
You'll find plenty of weekend-worthy exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum right now, like Remember the Rain, a collection of 20th-century Haitian paintings, and Elizabeth Malaska: All Be Your Mirror. (Pro tip for you Cheap and Easy readers: You can snag free museum passes from the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library.) Don't forget to duck into SAM Gallery, though, where you'll find Enter the Forest, a collection of works by local artists Linda Davidson, Chris Sheridan, and Sheryl Westergreen that feel as though they were pulled straight from the forest floor. LC
(SAM Gallery, Downtown, free, Friday-Sunday)

Overburden: Katie Miller Past Event List
Inspired by a recent residency in Joshua Tree National Park, which is home to delightful "Don't Die Today" signage and over 300 historic mines, Katie Miller's solo exhibition Overburden blends kiln-fired glass, photographic weavings, and hand-cut paper to think about the sociological influence of historic and modern mining and mineral extraction practices. A quick peek at Miller's Instagram reveals ultra-detailed compositions that remind me of the Joshua tree's spiky leaf growth. LC
(The Vestibule, Ballard, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

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