Feature this: Summer nights with films al fresco

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Summertime in Walla Walla: Sunscreen by day, movie screens at night. A couple of local businesses are planning big-screen events under the stars.

The first will be June 17. Three Rivers Winery will host its Movie in the Vineyards event with a showing of "The Wizard of Oz" in its outdoor amphitheater. All ages are welcome. Snacks, wine, drinks and water will be available for purchase. The Pink Dog will be onsite selling Polish sausage and hot dogs.

Gates open at 8 p.m. at 5641 Old Highway 12. The cost is $8 per person and includes popcorn. The show starts at dusk. For more information, call 526-9463.

Inland Cellular is also partnering with the Walla Walla Public Library, Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and the Walla Walla Sweets for Family Movie Night 2011. Three movies will be shown -- one this month and one each in July and August at Borleske Stadium. As a new twist this year the library's Summer Reading Program will showcase the books on which each of the movies is based.

The first movie, "How to Train Your Dragon," will be shown June 25. "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" will be shown July 23. Finally, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," will play Aug. 20. Movies will begin at dark. Guests will gather in the outfield and are asked to bring blankets or chairs. Concessions will be available.

Announcements at tonight's Walla Walla Sweets season-opener should be crisp and clear thanks to a new sound system at Borleske Stadium. A grant from the Donald & Virginia Sherwood Trust allowed the Borleske Stadium Association to install the new system. The amount of the grant was not disclosed in an announcement this morning.

The system includes four concert-quality Atlas stadium speakers placed strategically throughout the seating bowl, according to the release. It also includes a new Mackie sound mixer, a QSC stereo amplifier, a Behringer Shark digital 24-bit multi-function signal processor, cabling, conduit and storage racks. It's installed by JEC-T Live Sound Reinforcement, a Walla Walla company led by Jose and Terri DeLeon.

Neighbors of the 85-year-old stadium need not fear their windows will be blown out by the sound. The components of the new system allow for greater sound control so that more of the audio can be kept in the ballpark rather than carried to surrounding homes. The system will be functional for Whitman College baseball games, Walla Walla High School football games and Sweets home games, and other community events.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will visit Milton-Freewater on Saturday to host a public Town Hall Meeting. It will be at 5:30 p.m. in the McLoughlin High School auditorium.

Apparently U2 likes wines from W2. In preparation for a performance at Qwest Field in Seattle Saturday, the band has apparently requested a blend from Long Shadows Vintners to sip backstage. U2 special ordered Saggi, a "super Tuscan" cabernet and sangiovese blend produced in Walla Walla as a collaboration between winemakers Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari. Long Shadows posted the tidbit on its Facebook page this morning.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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