Holiday arts festival finds new home near downtown Bellingham

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 16, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - Fans of buying local will be able to get their holiday shopping done with fewer stops, as the Holiday Festival of the Arts has made its home closer to the downtown core.

The festival, put on by Allied Arts of Whatcom County, opened Saturday, Nov. 15, and will run Wednesdays through Sundays until Christmas Eve at 1825 Cornwall Ave.

Executive Director Kelly Hart said that after trying out spots in other parts of town, she's happy that the festival has moved to the edge of downtown, where it will be easy to find and there's plenty of free parking.

The festival is next to Woodsmiths where the Mayberry Sporting Goods store used to be.

"We are thrilled to be downtown again," Hart said. "This will be our 34th year. It was started as a downtown community arts event. To be able to be back down here with the local vendors celebrating the holidays and being able to celebrate the art walk and the tree lighting all together is going to be a great kickoff to the holidays."

The festival features more than 100 vendors, selling everything from chocolate truffles and soaps to glass pieces and paintings. There are pieces made from found art and plenty of images depicting local scenery and wildlife.

"We have something for everybody, which is really fun," Hart said. "There are a lot of things that are uniquely Whatcom County."

New this year, some of the artists will demonstrate their techniques and show how they create their work. There also will be art activities for kids as well as musical performances.

"It's amazing what a holiday tradition it is," Hart said. "We talk to so many people who can document all the different locations (of the festival). Every year, this is one of the things they do for the holidays."

IF YOU GO

The Holiday Festival of the Arts is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 24 at 1825 Cornwall Ave.

The festival will be closed on Thanksgiving and closes at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve. For more information about festival vendors and performers, go online to alliedarts.org.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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