List provides driving tour of Christmas lights

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WALLA WALLA - A harrowing traffic accident couldn't stop a local Christmas tradition from taking place this year.

For a number of years, Liz Pierce of the Home Loan Center has compiled, printed and given away her best Christmas lights driving tour list.

A rollover accident last week off Weston Mountain put her and her husband behind schedule for producing the list; both suffered whiplash and the vehicle was totaled, Pierce said.

On Friday, better late than never, Pierce was handing out the flier to people like Nat Coffeen, who said his wife sent him to get this year's list.

"Well the word is really getting out," Coffeen said, as he took his list from Pierce.

"Yes it is. Do you want more than one," Pierce asked, while wearing a lighted Christmas stocking.

"Better give me two. My brother wants one. He is driving around. He couldn't find a parking spot," Coffeen said, then thanked Pierce and was off.

Pierce said the Home Loan Center took over the task of creating the driving directions around the mid-1990s, when the Chamber of Commerce discontinued its Christmas lights bus tour.

"My husband and I drive the hundreds of miles it takes to do it," Pierce said.

The couple start after Thanksgiving, driving local streets and picking what they consider to be the best decorated houses.

Pierce said one year they kept track and found they had driven more than 300 miles to compile the list.

What does it take to make it on Home Loan Center's list?

A theme, movement or synchronization, interaction, such as handing out candy and lots of lights, Pierce said.

If you go

Start out going west on Rose Street (going from Walla Walla to College Place).

Across from the mall take a right on Offner Road.

Left on Drumheller Street (beautiful house on the left).

Left on Kenwood Street.

Right on Rose Street.

Right on Wallula Road (about two blocks down, house on left, set to music).

Left on College Avenue

Left on A Street (A Street turns into Tremont Drive and then California Street).

Left on Whitman Drive.

Right on Larch Street (just before you get to the top of the hill, large star on the right).

Right on S.E. Fourth Avenue.

Left on S.E. Birch Street.

Right on S.E. 12th Avenue (huge zebra blow-up on the left).

Left on South College Avenue.

Left on Lamperti Lane.

Right on S.E. Meadowbrook Street (past Walmart and across Hwy 11).

Left on Tamaurson Road.

Left on S.E. Colonial Drive.

Left on Independence Drive.

Right on S.E. Justice Avenue.

Left on Tamaurson Road.

Right on Havstad Drive.

Right on Barleen Drive.

Right on Tamaurson (stay on Tamaurson until you it turns into Prospect Road and go straight until it gets to Howard Street).

Left on Howard Street.

Left on Baumeister Drive.

Slight left, then take right to Imperial Street.

Right on Belair Avenue.

Left on Yellowstone Street.

Right on South Third Avenue.

Right on Winnebago Street (left side look at their many handmade Christmas items).

Left on Modoc Street.

Right on Tietan Street (stay on Tietan until you get to Fern Street at end of Tietan).

Left on Fern Street.

Right on Bryant Avenue (a few blocks down on the right, hopefully the lights are on).

Right on Wilbur Avenue.

Left on Tull Drive.

Left on Bryant Avenue.

Right on Wilbur Avenue.

Right on Pleasant Street.

Left on Holly Street.

Left on Whitman Street.

Right on Wilbur Avenue.

"We highly recommend that you follow Isaacs down to Ninth and go to Milton-Freewater to see the lights at the corner of Jacqueline and Eighth streets. If you turn at the sign by the library it will take you right to the lights, which are choreographed to music and absolutely beautiful!

Also recommended: Hawk Drive on the east end of Walla Walla.

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