Harvest Foods providing a reason to rhyme

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Roses are red, violets are blue. Get cash for a poem, and buy something new.

Walla Walla's Harvest Foods is seeking poets for a celebration of verse next week.

The Southgate grocery store, 905 S. Second Ave., will commemorate World Poetry Day on March 21 with an in-store poetry reading. Starting at 4 p.m., participants will have a chance to read each others' works and vote on their favorite poem. The person who gets the most votes will receive a $25 gift certificate, and the poem will be read aloud after votes are tallied at 5:45 p.m.

Coffee and samples will be available for participants.

A few rules for those thinking of participating: Poets are encouraged to bring as many pieces as they'd like to share, but only one can be submitted for the contest, and it must be family-appropriate. Poems should be typed or clearly printed. The creator's name must be legible on the piece. Judges will consider content, structure and inspiration, and rank each criterion on a scale of one to five. A coin flip will serve as a tie-breaker.

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Want a peek inside Walla Walla's new Provenance housing development?

Members of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce are invited to the development, located off the east end of Alder Street, during the organization's monthly Business After Hours event 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday.

The after-hours is a networking event designed to give members a chance to mingle together. Provenance, a new member, is hosting and will open its three constructed homes for viewing.

The homes run 1,220 to 2,350 square feet. Starting costs are in the "low" $200,000 range.

Guests Tuesday will be served a sampling of foods from Smith's Family Restaurant - formerly Sterling's - and wine from Tranche Cellars. A door prize and drawing will also be part of the festivities.

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Businesses interested in reaching out to potential new customers with some promotion are invited to participate in the Milton-Freewater Community and Business Showcase coming up this month.

The Milton-Freewater Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting reservations from participants at the March 29 event. The showcase is not an event to sell products, but to promote the goods and services available. Participants can offer door prizes or sell tickets to raffle off an item.

Tables are provided, and businesses need to provide their own coverings and display props. Reservations are required by March 27. For more information, call the Chamber at 541-938-5563 or email: mfmdfrog@mfchamber.com.

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

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