MONUMENTAL EVENTS You heard the buzz. You saw the trailers. The release date came . . . and went. Remember The Alamo ? Before you fork over $15 for a ticket and the requisite popcorn, take the opportunity this month to explore Texas's history firsthand. On April 3 Abilene offers its own picture of our past with the grand opening of its new interactive museum, Frontier Texas! Holographic guides usher you through multimedia exhibits of life in West Texas from 1780 to 1880, and special effects give you a close-up experience of a buffalo stampede, a thunderstorm on the prairie, and a saloon shoot-out. History will never seem more tangible. Set sail for Corpus Christi April 8 for the beginning of Buccaneer Days , a 24-day celebration of the city's shady past as a pirate haven that includes a rodeo, music festivals, fireworks, and an illuminated night parade. Alas, no Johnny Depp—but despair not, matey! The mayor himself will be captured by swashbucklers and forced to walk the plank. Not enough booty to satisfy ye? Prepare to raid Waco April 16—18 for Viking Fest , which honors our state's Nordic heritage. Visit a Viking village, set a longship replica asail, dance around the maypole, and enjoy a variety of Norwegian and Swedish foods. (Knowledge of runes not required.) Such exploits should prepare you for the San Jacinto Day Festival on April 24 at the San Jacinto Monument (above), in La Porte. The day's events will include a concert commemorating Texas's battle for independence from Mexico with songs, narrations, and poetry from K. R. Wood. Gladewater also honors Texans' ambitious spirit April 23 and 24 with its East Texas Gusher Days , which recognizes the fervor of the thirties' oil boom with a heritage parade and events such as a fishing tournament, a chili cookoff, and a brownie bowl lick-off (cleanest bowl wins). As for The Alamo , set to open this month? You'll have plenty of time to review all of Texas history before the DVD comes out.