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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Travel

Sample the best of Walla Walla for yourself

Christianne Sharman Special to Travel

Wanna Walla Walla? They’re really, really itching for a visit.

Their inducements? Wine, chalk, chamber music and onions.

Sounds like one weird party.

But who am I to judge? That combination might totally do it for you. So here are the brass tacks:

•Vintage Walla Walla, scheduled for June 5 and 6, is billed as an “educational weekend.” Instruction comes in the form of dinner parties with winemakers, tours of the Walla Walla Valley’s terrain, and a “grand” event in an outdoor tasting room tent pitched near a creek on the Whitman College campus.

More than 50 vintners will “personally” pour their current releases – instead of foisting you off on minions, I guess.

That should shoot your IQ points up a notch.

Event tickets range from $30 to $100 per person. You can continue your studies at or (509) 526-3117.

•This seems backward: In Walla Walla World, you pay to work.

A mere $100 to $175 buys you and your favorite co-worker induction into the Two Mountain Winery Vineyard Crew – just in time for summer thinning. June 6 is your first day on the job at the winery’s Zillah headquarters.

Two more sessions of “education” in the various stages of vineyard growth will follow on Aug. 15 and Oct. 10.

To make all this high-priced labor go down more easily, each day wraps with wine tasting and snacks, plus you get a yearlong 15 percent discount.

Things turn silly June 13 with the Two Mountain Winery Chalk Party, no doubt in preparation for their Mop Our Floor Party.

Two Mountain provides chalk, wine, music, food and fun in this annual event for the whole family. The winning chalk art creation will appear on the label of the summer release dry rosè. lists more events through November, or you could call (509) 829-3900.

•For more refined fun, try the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, June 8 to 19. They’re offering up events such as open rehearsals, performances onstage at Whitman College and “intimate tasting music events.” (… “One and two and drink, drink two three four” …)

As you wander the streets, note how the corner coffee shop or bistro “take on new identities when filled with glorious chamber music.”

For details see or (800) 838-3006.

•And now we come to the official Washington State vegetable. This is how our state legislators spend their time.

Nonetheless, the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival swoops into town July 18 and 19.

Naturally, it highlights arts and crafts, games, live music, a Saturday night dance and the sweet onion fun run.

More obvious attractions include a chef demonstration, recipe contests and sweet onion cooking.

There’s more at or (509) 525-1031.

Regional events

•Red Lodge Music Festival, June 6-14, Red Lodge, Mont. This is the oldest and, according to organizers, the most successful music festival in the state. Thirty professional musicians will make the scene. (

•Edmonds Arts Festival, June 19-21, Edmonds, Wash. Celebrate Father’s Day with musicians, storytellers, a “sweeping showcase of art by more than 450 top local and national artists,” and more. (

Christianne Sharman can be reached by e-mail at
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