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Springfield Filbert Festival comes out of its shell.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

EVENT PREVIEW Springfield Filbert Festival What: Celebrating the city's spirit and diversity When: 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. today; 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday Where: Island Park, 200 West B Street Tickets: $5 adults; $2 children 6 to 11; children younger than 5 free Parking: On the streets Shuttle: LTD offers a free shuttle to and from its Springfield Station from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. today and from 3 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday

SPRINGFIELD - The annual Filbert Festival is still nutty, but the focus of the event has widened from the versatile filbert to embrace the theme of "the best of the Northwest."

That means the best in music, beer, food, plants and arts that favor this region take center stage for three days at Island Park. The nut theme is represented by such mainstay attractions as the filbert cook-off and Nut of the Year awards, plus the Nutty Kingdom where children reign.

Event manager Tim Flowerday says new this year is the "Bus-IN," sponsored by Lane Transit District, where at dusk Saturday they will show "Shrek," on a big screen in the park.

"(It) will be like the old fashioned drive-in, but on the grass," he says.

Last year, the Northwest Harmonica Championships crowned its first winner. For 2006, the contest is back and will feature some of the most talented harp blowers in the area competing for a $500 prize.

The annual floral arranging contest will have categories for youths, amateurs and profes- sionals. Arrangements must be made from natural materials.

Nuttiest Cook-Off recipes must include filberts, but other than that, cooks are limited only by their imagination.

There's still time to enter the cook-off and floral arranging contest, but finalists for the harmonica contest already have been selected.

Keep an eye out for the balloon station giving out free balloons. Oregon River Sports is giving kayak rides in the Willamette and a chance to win prizes in the poker run, including a kayak.

Music is always a big draw at the event. This year's lineup serves up blues, reggae and more, with rhyming local talents Steve Ibach and Jerry Zybach as featured performers.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment; The event is out to prove that the Northwest is all it's cracked up to be
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 4, 2006
Previous Article:WILD CARD BRIEFLY.

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