by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Beacon Blowout & r & The best downhill mountain bikers in the state will be flying over rocks, logs and man-made jumps this weekend at Camp Sekani (on Upriver Drive, a mile west of Argonne) at Washington's NORBA championships (that's the National Off-Road Bicycling Association). Practice is on Saturday from 10 am-5 pm; the racing starts Sunday at 10 am. Call 328-7475 or 354-7749.

Botanical Confusion & r & How can a float entitled "Lilac Magic" (and constructed by volunteers who call themselves Float Toads) have won first place at Tacoma's Daffodil Festival and top honors at Wenatchee's Apple Blossom Parade? We're sure it's a lovely float and all, and we'll admit that we don't know our hydrangeas from our chrysanthemums. But one thing we do know is that lilacs look nothing like daffodils. Or apple blossoms.

Anyway, on Saturday at 7:45 pm downtown, you can catch this fantastic floral fantasia (on wheels!) during the 68th annual Armed Forces Torchlight Parade -- which (as if you needed more persuading) was recently ranked as one of the Top 100 Events of 2006 by the American Bus Association. Bus drivers always appreciate a nice bouquet of nasturtiums. Call 535-4554.

Orchestrating Trivia & r & Turns out that the start of Kelly Farris' 37-year career ("Farewell to Farris," 5/11/06) was not the only significant event for the Spokane Symphony that year. On Aug. 24, 1969, in an event little heralded beyond the family at the time, a baby boy was born in East Germany, just as Farris began his tenure as concertmaster here. And the baby's name? Eckart Preu.

At the Big Easy on Friday night, Farris will solo in the Metropolis Symphony, musically impersonating that arch-villain and Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor. Now Farris is an elegant, mild-mannered fellow -- so isn't that an example of casting against type? Preu responds that, "Kelly can look pretty scary." But he smiles when he says it.

Enduring Palouse Fame & r & For $500 apiece, you can inscribe names on brass plaques on the backs of seats at the Kenworthy Theater, and "your gift will assist with the ongoing operation and renovation of... Moscow's premier, historic, downtown, community performing arts venue and cinematic art house." Call (208) 882-4127.

Kamp Korrection Korner & r & We got one of our Day Camp listings wrong in our May 11 Summer Camps feature. From June 19-Sept. 1 (Mondays-Fridays, 7 am-6 pm) at the East Central Community Center, the East Central Community Organization will offer kids (ages 6-12) an opportunity to swim, hike, read, dance, work with computers and go on field trips. Call 625-6699.

Cheap Skate Tuesday @ Numerica Skate Ribbon

Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Continues through Feb. 22
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