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Entertainment Briefs

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Bald eagle festival

on tap this weekend

GRAND COULEE - Bald eagles have been especially active on Banks Lake this year, and this coming weekend will provide prime opportunties for viewing them.

The "Bald Eagle Festival" is being sponsored by the Grand Coulee Chamber of Commerce. Guided mini-bus tours will be offered for up-close looks at the WSU Raptor Club's birds of prey. There will also be live entertainment, including Spokane's bluegrass Prairie Flyer band.

The festival, now in its fourth year, has grown to include more just eagle viewing. In addition to its educational components, the locals of Grand Coulee are having fun with it, too, and they keep adding side events. There will be an ugly truck contest, parade, poetry readings, as well as art and photography contests. Also scheduled is a quilt show and a duct-tape pet contest.

This year's festival starts tonight (Friday) with live entertainment at the Grand Gallery Theatre. A $20 Bald Eagle card entitles the holder to attend all the Friday through Sunday events, including the bus tours. Children 12 and under will be admitted free with an adult.

The combination of warm, sunny days and cold, clear nights in the Grand Coulee Dam area has kept just the right amount of ice on Banks Lake to make fishing good for the big birds of prey. The festival will feature the flyway that has made a local canyon a favorite winter roosting area for large numbers of America's official national bird, located about 50 miles west of Spokane (as the eagle flies).

"We just thought there is so much natural beauty here, even in the winter, that we needed a way to share that with people," said Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce President Scott Hunter.

"Putting on an event like this is a lot of work for a small town. But we wanted to make it an event that does more than just bring in a few tourists," Hunter said.

As part of the festival, to encourage a little spending in local shops, merchants are offering to refund all purchases with equal amounts of "funny money," which can be used to bid on items at an auction Sunday afternoon.

A complete schedule of events can be found on-line at: www.grandcouleedam.org.

‘KinderKoncert’ set for March 6

YAKIMA - Musical selections with young listeners in mind will fill the hall of Yakima's Capitol Theatre on Sunday, March 6, at this year's "KinderKoncert."

KinderKoncert will feature performances by the Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Carol Alexander. The Yakima Ensemble for Strings, under the direction of Christy Baisinger, will also perform. All told, more than 90 students from all over the Yakima Valley will be performing that day.

KinderKoncert is a special program for children and their families, and attracts patrons of all ages who enjoy listening to great music. Master of ceremonies will be Anne Chapman, music educator at Martin Luther King Elementary School.

The theme of this year's program will be "Toys in Symphony." One of the featured selections will be the "Toy Symphony" by Leopold Mozart. Another of the selections will be music from "Pirates of the Caribbean" by Klaus Badelt.

Following the program the audience will have the opportunity to meet the musicians and play many of the different musical instruments that will be found in the "Instrument Petting Zoo."

Thanks to a donation from Target stores, this year's KinderKoncert event is free of charge to all who attend. The program will get underway at 3 p.m.

Gardening symposium slated for March 5

YAKIMA - The Master Gardeners of Yakima County will present their 16th annual gardening symposium Saturday, March 5, at the Yakima Arboretum.

The 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. event will feature speakers addressing such topics as the search for the perfect rose, the use of ornamental grasses, small vegetable gardens and lawn care. Other topics to be addressed include controlling invasive back yard pests, texture and design in gardens and containers, orchids for beginners and pressed flowers.

Promoters of the symposium call it a must-attend event for both avid and learning gardeners.

The March 5 symposium is open to the public, but reservations are required (509-574-1600).

Sunnyside awards banquet March 12

Sunnyside residents are being encouraged to purchase their tickets now for the no-host social, silent auction and buffet that will all be part of this year's Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce awards banquet.

This year's banquet, which will honor those in the community who have worked to make Sunnyside a better place to live, is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, beginning at 5 p.m. at Navarro's Family Community Center in downtown Sunnyside.

Tickets, priced at $25 per person, are available now at the local chamber office.

Gospel music jamboree Sunday

MABTON - Lower Valley residents are invited to take in some great music at this coming Sunday's Gospel music jamboree, to be hosted by the Mabton Grace Brethren Church.

The 2 to 4 p.m. event, which will include an open microphone for anyone who wants to perform, will feature the likes of Heart Strings & Bill Lawson, Joyfull Noise, Doug Diamond, June Lathrup, Jeff Colson, Ryan Dawson, Oran Bar and The Gospeliers.

There is no admission charge, but goodwill donations will be accepted at the door.

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