The Blue Zones Project Walla Walla Valley is launching a series of free family-friendly activities for the community in June, said Executive Director Meghan DeBolt.

“We encourage everybody to come meet our team and learn how to get involved in transforming Walla Walla Valley into a place where healthy choices are the easy choices,” DeBolt said

Events each week focus on a core theme inspired by original Blue Zones Power 9 principles that help people live longer, healthier lives: Connect, Eat Wisely, Move Naturally, and Right Outlook, according to publicity material.

Communities in the Valley have contributed toward bringing the Blue Zones Project to this area. The cities of Walla Walla and College Place each contributed $10,000, as did Walla Walla County, Walla Walla University and Providence St. Mary’s Medical Center, to assess whether the community would be a good fit.

The nationwide project is based on research by Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author, who identified five “hot spots” with the highest amount of people living to 100 years or older worldwide.

All local kickoff events are free for participants but require advanced registration to maintain safe COVID-19 precautions. Register and find out more about specific events at wwvalley.bluezonesproject.com/kickoff. For registration in Spanish visit wwvalley.bluezonesproject.com/es/events.

Connect Weekend, June 5-6

Start by connecting with friends, family and Blue Zones Project team members at outdoor movie nights. Food trucks will be on site, and both evenings will feature local dance troupes, games, gift bags and giveaways. Bring blankets, chairs and a snack. Food trucks will open at 7 p.m., and the movie starts at dusk.Seating is limited. Register to reserve a socially distanced space.

  • An Outdoor Movie Night will be 7-10 p.m. Saturday, June 5. Reserve tickets for an outdoor screening of Disney’s “Coco” at the Mill Creek Sports Complex in Walla Walla.
  • Outdoor Movie Night College Place 7-10 p.m. Sunday, June 6. Reserve tickets for an outdoor screening of Disney’s “Finding Nemo” at Lions Park in College Place.

Eat Wisely Week, June 6-12

Explore plant-based dining options across Walla Walla Valley and take part in cooking demonstrations from prominent local chefs, including Ian Williams from Caprio Cellars and Yara Irizarry from Wingman Birdz + Brewz.

Pick up a copy of the Blue Zones Project local restaurant guide to explore Blue Zones-inspired dishes. Find the guide at the Visit Walla Walla guest booth on Main Street.

  • Healthy Cooking Demonstration Live on Zoom, 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 8. Local chef Ian Williams from Caprio Cellars will teach participants how to incorporate more whole grains, beans, nuts and produce into their cooking.
  • Healthy Cooking Demonstration, College Place Farmer’s Market, 5 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Chef Yara Irizarry from Wingman will use fresh produce for a live cooking demonstration to prepare a plant-based meal at home, and tips will be provided for preparing and choosing healthier meals and snacks.

Move Naturally Week, June 13-19

Discover how Blue Zones Project helps people in the Valley move naturally by participating in a community walkability assessment and/or a walking Moai small group. Participants will have the opportunity to join a walking group program that supports healthy habits and forges friendships.

Right Outlook Week, June 20-26

Blue Zones Project will offer a virtual meditation session, yoga in the park or a Purpose Workshop. Learn tools to help manage stress or better connect individual strengths to the broader community.


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,