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Recreation - Events and Festivals

Allied Arts
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to connecting the Bellingham community with local artists and craftspeople. The Allied Arts Gallery, located on Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, is open all year exclusively featuring local art, and the organization also hosts several seasonal events. The Chalk Art Festival (left), held every August, presents chalk panels drawn by local artists, families and children upon the downtown sidewalks. Gallery walks are held every quarter in downtown Bellingham. The Holiday Festival of the Arts, running from Nov 19 – Dec 24, features an exhibition and sale of local arts and crafts as well as music provided by the Bellingham Independent Music Association. Get connected with localcommunity and culture!

Bellingham Farmers Market
The Farmers Market is held every week in the summer on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday in downtown Bellingham, Barkley Village, and Fairhaven. The Market is an outdoor gathering of local vendors selling fresh produce, food and beverages, flowers and plants, arts and crafts, and clothing. The Market sponsors a variety of other events including mother's and father's day festivities. Come support local business!

Bellingham Music Festival
This non-profit organization has been running annually for ten years, presenting over 150 concerts with nationally- and internationally-renowned musicians. Named the “Premier Northwest Summer Music Festival” by Arts & Entertainment Television, the Festival hosts events in various indoor and outdoor venues featuring classical, chamber, jazz, and world musicians along with a resident 40-piece orchestra composed of American and European musicians from renowned ensembles. The Festival also presents adult-education lectures and an annual youth program called “Beethoven in the Schools”.

Bellingham Oktoberfest
Held annually each autumn for 22 years running, Oktoberfest in Bellingham features 21-plus fun at the Deming Logging Show Grounds. Entertainment by Scandinavian musicians is featured throughout the day, including polka, Swiss yodeling, and Swiss alpine horns, and a wooden dance floor is provided for visitors to enjoy. Bavarian food is served all day and night, and the affordable admission price includes a beer stein or wine glass for making use of the beer garden.

Deming Log Show
Originally started up to raise money for loggers hurt in the woods, the Deming Log Show recently celebrated its 39th year. Held each summer at the Deming Log Show Grounds, the event runs two days and features over 30 events, including ax throwing, hot chain saw bucking, log rolling, speed climbing, machinery exhibitions, and a huge barbeque - all to commemorate one of the oldest industries in the Pacific Northwest.

Highland Games
Held the first Saturday of every June at Hovander Homestead Park in Bellingham, this ancient Scottish celebration has become a Whatcom County tradition, as well. There are many entertaining events, including a competition of Scottish Highland and National dancers; bagpipe bands and Celtic harp performances, including a piping and drumming contest; Scottish athletic events including the hammer, sheath and caber; dog trials; and of course, plenty of food and ale. Bring the whole family to experience fun dating back to the Middle Ages!

Literature Live at Village Books
The Literature Live series features a new, jam-packed lineup of popular authors every month. Readings and book signings are held at Village Books in the historic Fairhaven district. Ticketed and benefit events sponsored by Village Books are periodically held elsewhere in Whatcom County as part of the series.

Lynden Holland Days Festival
The annual Holland Days Festival is held to celebrate Lynden's Dutch heritage. Events include a parade with authentic, regional Dutch costumes; wooden shoe dances performed by Lynden's Klompen Dancers; a Fun Walk/Run; and the sale of tulips, Lynden's official flower.

Lynden Raspberry Festival
Held annually the third week in July, Lynden's Raspberry Festival celebrates the local raspberry harvest. Fresh-picked red raspberries are sold by local growers, as well as other raspberry-themed treats. Events include a sidewalk sale and block party, music, food, crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides, and a two-day 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Mount Baker Blues Festival
This nationally-recognized music festival has been running every summer for 9 years. The ten-day event features dozens of world-famous blues musicians and overnight camping facilities at the nearby Deming Speedway. The Festival was awarded the BB Award 2004 for “Best Blues Event” by the Washington Blues Society and has been nominated every year running. The music is fabulous, the price is affordable, and the venue is unforgettable. Don't miss it!

Scandinavian Fair
Held the first Saturday of November by the Nellie Gerdrum Lodge of the Daughters of Norway, the Scandinavian Fair features lively music and folk dancing all day long. Booths feature Scandinavian arts and crafts, and the café and bakery provide an array of delicious Nordic treats.

Ski to Sea Festival
This famous festival consists of races, parades and events including an 85-mile relay race of seven venues. The Race consists of downhill, cross- country, running, road and mountain biking, canoeing, and sea kayaking on its seven legs, with an awards ceremony at the finish and running commentary broadcast for all spectators. Display booths feature food and beverage services, as well as race-related merchandise such as athlete photos taken during the journey. Other Ski-to- Sea events include a junior race, parades, a sail regatta, a book sale, an art show, and a pasta feed. Check out the fun of this Northwest tradition!

Every year since 1971, Western Washington University's Theater Department has put on a series of several plays to provide summer entertainment for the community and intensive experience for young actors-in-training. Come see fabulous renditions of classic plays and musicals, while also supporting local education and the arts!

Vancouver International Film Festival
This internationally-renowned, not-for-profit film festival is held annually in the fall for 23 years running. The most recent festival was a huge success, reaching the $1 million mark in the box office and record attendance. Films from all over the world are previewed at this 15-day event, featuring original and challenging fare including many political documentaries, Canadian films, premier events, specialized titles, and much more. Many films may not be accessible for children under 18.

Whatcom Film Association
The Pickford Cinema, run by the Whatcom Film Association, provides an array of unique and sometimes difficult fare, including political documentaries, special-interest films, and independent cinema. Ticket prices are affordable, and memberships are available providing further-reduced fares. Venues include the Pickford Cinema and the Pickford Dreamspace, both located in downtown Bellingham. Films change frequently, so stay updated!