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Winter Carnival Best Of Outdoors; Rodeo Takes You For A Ride At Arena

It’s winter; you can embrace it or reject it outright.

Your best shot for making the best of the season begins today with Arctic Blast, Sandpoint’s 10-day winter carnival. But if you want to avoid the cold stuff altogether, you can ignore winter by going to the Wrangler ProRodeo Classic inside the Spokane Arena today through Sunday.

First, Sandpoint. This fun-packed festival takes the best of outdoor activities - such as ice skating, snow sculpture and parades - and couples them with Sandpoint’s own brand of fun - art openings and wine and cheese tasting.

There’s more, of course, with plenty to entertain people of all ages, through Jan. 28.

You can hear Freeway Philharmonic at 8 tonight at the Panida Theater. This band combines the improvisation of jazz, the easy of pop and rock and the discipline of classical music into a vibrant, turbocharged performance. General admission tickets are $10, $6 for people younger than 18. Call (208) 263-6139 for tickets.

A complete schedule for the winter carnival is available by calling the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce’s InfoCenter at (208) 263-2161 or (800) 800-2106.

The Arena will heat up tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., when the rodeo rolls in. Top professional cowboys, bullfighters, clowns and - oh, yeah - livestock combine to entertain.

Seats cost $8 and $12, and limited VIP seats are $15.

There are discounts on the general tickets tonight and Sunday. Tickets are available at the Spokane Arena box office and at all G&B; Select-A-Seat outlets or by calling 325-SEAT.

Poems free

Jack Gilbert, distinguished visiting writer in residence at Eastern Washington University, will give a poetry reading tonight at 7 at the Spokane City Council Chambers.

Gilbert’s first book of poems, “Views of Jeopardy,” received the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1962 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His reading is free and open to the public.

Next week

Opera Buffs of Spokane will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Rockwood Retirement Center to hear Whitworth College seniors Jessica Bowers and Heather Steckler, both sopranos. The performance is free to the public.

The Washington State University Museum of Art opens its spring semester exhibition series Monday with the WSU Fine Art Faculty Exhibit.

Mike Mandel, an assistant professor in graphic design, will talk about his work during a 7:30 p.m. lecture at the opening. The exhibit runs through Feb. 18.

The museum is open weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays) and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Museum events are free.

Lynn Brinckmeyer, soprano, will perform at an Eastern Washington University Faculty Artist Series presentation at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the EWU Music Building Recital Hall on Eastern’s Cheney campus. Admission is free.

The Spokane Public Library and the Spokane Symphony are holding their first Lunch ‘n Learn program of the year Wednesday with Spokane Symphony conductor Fabio Mechetti and musician Reiko Watanabe speaking at noon in Meeting Room 1A of the downtown library.

With host Verne Windham of KPBX public radio, the Wednesday series is a good introduction to the world of classical music. Mechetti’s and Watanabe’s discussion is titled “East Meets West; Old Meets New.” The series is free.

Wednesday night, at 7:30, curators from the Cheney Cowles Museum will discuss how the museum chooses objects for its collections and show slides of some of the artifacts rarely seen by the public.

The program will be in the museum’s auditorium; it’s free and open to the public.

, DataTimes