New lights add twinkle to downtown boughs


Have you noticed a little more sparkle downtown over the last week?

Doyle Electric has been re-stringing the downtown trees with twinkle lights. The lights are year-round accessories but are also one element of holiday decor slated for downtown, officials say. Starting Tuesday the city of Walla Walla is expected to begin installing decorations on light posts, according to an announcement from the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The decorations are part of the changing seasonal look intended to add festive charm to Walla Walla's downtown retail corridor.

Doyle Electric's overhaul of the lights gives the trees the tidy look they had when the light-emitting diode - or LED - lights were first strung in late 2007. Many may remember that initial installation was funded through a partnership between a cluster of businesses/associations and the city. Land Title of Walla Walla Inc., Key Technology, Community Bank and the Downtown Development Association, an organization that predates the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, paid the initial $44,000 for installation of the lights on 96 trees.


Turkey may be king this time of year, but another food is rapidly becoming a Walla Walla tradition every November: cheese.

Downtown's gourmet grocery Salumiere Cesario is preparing to roll out its giant wheel of single-family aged parmigiano reggiano for its fifth annual wheel cutting event.

At noon Saturday, Salumiere owners Damon and Colby Burke will begin breaking down the Cravero parmigiano wheel at their shop, 20 N. Second Ave. Once the wheel is broken down it will be offered at a special price that day only. More than 40 pounds of cheese from the freshly cut wheel have flown out the door during the first hour every year since the Burkes started their holiday tradition.

Cravero parmigiano was the cheese that kicked off the wheel-cutting event four years ago. This cheese is made at the Latteria "Della Croce di Benedello" in the Pavullo nel Frignano village, located in the Apennine hills at 2,300 feet in Modena, Italy. The cheese matures in Modena for 13 months. Giorgio Cravero selects the best wheels and transfers them to his cheese-maturing facility in the Piedmont town of Bra, where the wheels age 24 months. Few are released to the world, so even fewer are available in the U.S. For details, call Salumiere at 529-5620 or visit


A local insurance company is collecting food for those in need.

McDonald Zaring Insurance is accepting donations of canned and nonperishable food or grocery store gift cards to help those in the community who have fallen on hard times.

The donations at the downtown Walla Walla business, 22 E. Main St., will be given to Helpline, a social service agency that assisted more than 2,500 households in 2010. That was done with the help of nearly 16,000 cases of food. For more details, call McDonald Zaring at 525-5730 or Helpline at 529-3377.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at or 526-8321.


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