Everybody's ready for spring, and the Wichita Garden Show, just 11 days away, is one sign that the season of hope is drawing near.
But are you ready for the garden show?
The show, which is March 3 to 7 at Century II, will once again have several contests, and one of them — So You Think Your Kid Has Talent? —has a qualifying event before the show even starts. Some of the other contests also require preregistration.
Here's a list of the contests and what you need to know to participate. See also the Web site www.wichitagardenshow.com under "Show Events" and the special section about the show that will be in The Eagle on Feb. 28.
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* So You Think Your Kid Has Talent? Kids 4 to 15 can perform at a pre-show audition from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Extension Center, 21st and Ridge Road. The top eight finalists, plus four whose names are drawn, will compete starting at 7 p.m. March 5 in the Great Gardens. Prizes will be $500, $250 and $100. Register for the audition and get more details by calling Johnson's Legacy Landscapes at 316-943-6886 by Wednesday.
* All ages can decorate their "wheels" from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 5. There are two divisions: ages 5 and under and ages 6 and over. You can decorate anything with wheels and bring it to the show already decorated: bicycles, wheelchairs, tricycles, scooters, strollers, Hot Wheels, wagons or wheelbarrows. Any theme goes, but props must include living or silk flowers and/or plants, seeds and grasses. No balloons allowed. Prizes are $90, $80 and $70 Toys R Us gift cards for littler kids and $100, $90 and $80 Visa gift cards for the older "kids." Check in at 5:30 p.m. in the connecting lobby. There will also be a parade of the decorated wheels through the show.
* An adult and a child age 4 to 9 can paint each other's faces in the theme of something found in the yard or garden. Bring your own paint supplies. No professionals allowed. Prizes are 15, 12 and 10 movie tickets. The event is from 5 to 6 p.m. March 5 in the Great Gardens.
* Register at the show gate by putting your name in a fish bowl for a chance to return March 6 to dig in the dirt for a winning key to a Dixon riding lawnmower. Twenty-four people will dig in a 20-foot-long pile of soil for a key; each will get a key and take a turn to see whose starts the mower. The digging will be at 6:30 p.m. March 6 in the Great Gardens.
* Team up with a buddy to assemble a pellet grill without the benefit of instructions. Bring your own tools. The first team to assemble the grill correctly wins; each member of the team gets a junior pellet grill. Preregister by calling the show at 316-946-0883 or 316-259-5913 by March 1. The contest will be at 11 a.m. March 6 in the area of the Great Gardens.
* Enter a birdhouse in one of three categories: wacky decoration (doesn't have to be constructed by entrant), prettily decorated (doesn't have to be constructed by entrant) or functional (must be constructed by entrant). Prize: a 12-volt Milwaukee drill. The event is at 2 p.m. March 6 in the Great Gardens. Preregister by calling Associated Lumber & Supply at 316-943-2103 by March 2.
* Pairs can compete from 1 to 4 p.m. March 7 in a Hillbilly Golf Tournament. This is a lawn game played by throwing two balls connected by a string onto a ladder. Show up at 1 to play. Members of the winning team will each win a junior pellet grill.
"It's all about telling people to play in their yards," show director Alex Lingg says.
* Ladies can decorate a garden hat — fancy or functional — with fresh or silk flowers and all kinds of accessories for a contest March 4. The hat does not have to be worn into the show; leave it at the Great Gardens for judging from 5 to 7: 15 p.m. Prizes are $900, $400 and $200 shopping sprees at Tree Top Nursery. The hat also gets the woman $2 off her ticket price.
* Also on March 4 — yes, it's Ladies Night — women can go on a treasure hunt from exhibit to exhibit; the first one to find the gold medallion wins a $500 shopping spree at Tree Top. Ladies line up at 7 p.m. in the great gardens to hear the first clue and go hunting.
* Enter a decorated wreath or floral arrangement in one of many categories in the Amateur Flower Show. Register by March 1. For more information, contact Mary Buffo at 316-755-2436 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Enter a houseplant, dish garden, terrarium or pruned branch in one of several categories in the Horticulture Division of the Amateur Flower Show. Register by March 1. For more information, contact Mary Buffo at 316-755-2436 or e-mail email@example.com.
* Check The Eagle special section that will be handed out daily at the show's doors for one of 1,000 Scholfield Honda "Generation Green" stickers. A sticker qualifies you for a chance to win a 2010 Honda Pilot.
Admission to the Garden Show will be $11 for adults (16 and older), $5.50 for students ages 10 through 15, $2.50 for children 5 through 9 and free for children 4 and under. Seniors will get in for $8.50 on March 3, and for $10.50 on the other days. A multi-day pass is $20.
Women who wear or bring a hat decorated with flowers on March 4 will get a $2 discount and can request a wristband that will get them in free with a paid guest on another day of the show.