BELLINGHAM - Once again the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring several community events to mark New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Celebrate Bellingham, combining several free family activities, will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way, with ice skating, indoor soccer, rock climbing on a portable 4-foot wall, jump toys, horse-drawn wagon rides, carnival games and other activities.
In addition, there will be free swimming from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. at nearby Arne Hanna Aquatic Center, 1114 Potter St.
"It' really for kids, but it's a lot of fun," said Lance Romo, the department's recreation coordinator. "Go early and be prepared for crowds."
At 11 a.m. New Year's Day is the free annual Resolutions Walk/Run and Polar Dip at Lake Padden Park, near Samish Way and Yew Street Road.
The 2.6-mile trek starts near the bath house, where runners and walkers should meet by 10:45 a.m. At noon, everyone leaps together into the chilly lake. At the finish there will be snacks, coffee and patio heaters - plus hot showers and treats for polar dippers.
The city urges parents with children under 10 to consult a physician before participating. Runners don't need to get wet, and "dippers" don't need to run.
For more information, call 360-778-7000 or go online to cob.org.
Birch Bay also hosts its annual polar plunge at noon Jan. 1. Costume judging is at 11:30 a.m. Details are at birchbaychamber.com/January.