The Second Annual Mini-Golf Art Invitational

One of the best things about Holocene is that its arrival in our midst brought with it a new tradition: that of combining mini-golf with local art. The Second Annual Mini-Golf Art Invitational collects a team of local creatives to design holes for the course that are "both functional and creative." They are unveiled for a mere two days, where you can witness the installations, as well as play a little putt-putt on, around, and in them.

This year, hole designers include Shoshonah Oppenheim and Bonnie Barrett, whose contribution is inspired by Coney Island arcade games; "The Donut Hole" by WK12, which is of course made of donuts (that hopefully can withstand the clumsy plays of many a patron adrift on Holocene's specialty cocktails); Paul Lynch's hole as comment on consumerism; Adrian Melnick's Fear Factor-mimicking hole; KPSU's tricky air blaster and subwoofer hole of unseen obstacles; and many, many more.

And when you show up to the event, why not bust out the golf pants you inherited from your golfing grandpa? After all, there will be a photographer offering photos for souvenirs, so you may as well look the part with whatever kind of golf gear you can muster up. Think of it as being part of the arty scenery, just as the visual art itself begs for human interaction.

And if golfing is not quite enough to keep you entertained, the first night of the tourney will also feature a performance by the San Francisco dance music outfit Hey Willpower, who you may have seen on tours with folks like Le Tigre or Scissor Sisters. If not, their snazzy beats and smooth, sexy vocals exist purely to get you dancing, naked, or some combination of both—but don't lose your favorite golfing cap in the process! There's still another day of putting to face, and while it will not have a trendy dance band making an appearance, it will have all the aforementioned arty golf holes, hopefully still in good condition after their first night of debauchery—as well as DJs for you to shake your golfing butt to. Also, at 10 pm on Wednesday, hand-crafted statues will be awarded to the hole designers in four categories: Best Action, Most Artistic, Greatest Technical Achievement, and Hole I Most Want To Take Home With Me. MARJORIE SKINNER

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Tues Aug 23, 9 pm-2 am, Wed Aug 24, 2 pm-2 am, $5

The Portland Challenge

I might be the worst swimmer of all time. I flail, cough, panic, and—most damningly—sink. So if I'm going to participate in the Portland Challenge, I'd better get pretty creative.

So it's a good thing that the third-annual Challenge—which invites Portlanders to make their way across the mighty Willamette—allows its participants to get across however they please, as long as it's without "money, motors, or bridges." (They advise swimming, poling, building a dinghy, or shooting yourself out of a cannon.) It'd be another lame, overexposed PDX event if it weren't going to be so much fun—and if the proceeds from the post-challenge show at Berbati's weren't benefiting an orphanage project in Tanzania.

And there'll be music: Gothic Outhouse on the roof of the Slammer (where participants will meet), a drum corp will accompany participants to the river, Frank Furter will play (from a kayak) during the challenge, Karaoke From Hell will be at the block party on Ankeny that'll follow, and—at the Berbati's show—there'll be Goodtime Gil and the Champagne Cowboys, Dark Skies, and a hiphop showcase. Hey, do you know anyone with a cannon? EH

The Portland Challenge: Sun Aug 21 at noon, meet at the Slammer, 500 SE 8th, FREE. After-party benefit at Berbati's Pan: 10 SW 3rd, 248-4579, $5. Hit or call 481-1361 for more info.

Sketch Fest = Best Fest

Last time I checked, you were a fan of things that are funny. What can you do? You like the ha-ha; the ol' side-splitter; the one-two laughamazoo. But nobody's looking down on you for loving to shake with mirth so damn much—on the contrary, you're about to get your comeuppance, Cap'n Laffy Pants! This weekend the funny folks at Blue Door Productions (home of Portland's great 3rd Floor sketch group) present The Best of the Best Sketch Fest: two cram-packed nights of nonstop hilarity from 11 of the best sketch comedy teams in the country. The groups can't apply or audition for the fest—it's by invite only, which cuts out the fluff, ensuring that the festival consists of nothing more than a bunch of really funny performers, hand-picked by really funny performers. "We've seen each of them in person," reads a letter from Blue Door, "and consider them to be... quite simply, the cream of the national crop."

Unless you live in a steel bubble deep within an oceanic abyss, you already know that sketch comedy is much like the stuff you see on Saturday Night Live—except the goings on this weekend won't be nearly as terrible. Expect to see delirious fusions of live theatrics and videography (NYC's Elephant Larry, Friday, 11 pm); an absurd, puppetry-laden, 1970s blue-collar romp set in a brewery (Seattle's Flaming Box of Stuff, Saturday, 10 pm); and the magical, dream-like antics of Portland's favorite comic duo (or at least my favorite) Hoskins and Breen (Friday, midnight). Get your laugh on and get it on hard. JUSTIN W. SANDERS

Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, Fri 8 pm–midnight, Sat 7 pm–midnight, buy tickets at the door, $10 for single, $66 for festival pass, a new group goes on every hour, for schedule