Anna Williams has been chairman of Fairhaven Festival - an all-volunteer group - for more than 15 years. She plans to stay at it, but says she's delegating more of the duties because she doesn't want to work so hard.
Bellingham's Ski to Sea is the biggest event of the year, and Fairhaven Festival -called "It All Ends in Fairhaven" for many years - is the biggest party and celebration in town.
The festival takes place from 10 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 25, at the Village Green at 10th Street and Mill Avenue and on 11th Street from Mill to McKenzie avenues.
Williams says the festival continues to grow each year. More nonprofits have been added to the event, and new this year is an all-ages karaoke hosted by Seamus O'Carey from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at the Village Green.
Three bands will be play from noon to 7 p.m. on the stage at 11th Street and McKenzie Avenue, with a beer garden nearby.
John Servais, chairman of the race's finish committee from 1980 to 1984, says that in 1983 Ski to Sea moved the finish line from just outside the Squalicum Marina breakwater to the beach at Marine Park at Post Point in Fairhaven. As the teams finished, they and their supporters flooded into Fairhaven's eateries and bars - and Fairhaven was not ready for them.
"The Fairhaven Association folks were quite caught by surprise and decided to be ready the next year," Servais says. "They organized an outdoor fest, with food and a beer garden, and it has continued ever since. This is the 30th year of the celebration and what is now the most fun street party of the year in Bellingham."
Hilary Friedrich, a board member of Historic Fairhaven Association, adds that it's the biggest street fair in Bellingham, with crafts, food and vendor booths, and, best of all, it's family-friendly.
Near the Village Green there'll be a bouncy house, pony rides, a fire department playhouse and a climbing wall.
"Every year the festival gets bigger and better," Friedrich says. "We play rain or shine; the sun always comes out."
SKI TO SEA EVENTS
"The Mountain Runners:" screening of locally produced, award-winning film about the Mount Baker Marathon in the early 1900s, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St. See themountainrunners.com.
Friends of the Bellingham Library used book sale: Main Library, 210 Central Ave. Most books $1. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, May 21-22, and Friday, May 23 (half-price day); and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24 ($4 a bag). Details: 360-778-7250, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Block Party: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 23, Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro, 1107 Railroad Ave. All ages welcome; beer garden for those 21 and older. Stroll "Salsa Alley" to taste and judge Mexican restaurants' salsa. Music by Jasmine Greene Band.
Also, all-ages from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 24, with music by Bellingham Firefighters Pipes and Drums. $5 cover in the beer garden after 5 p.m. for music by The Atlantics.
Also, 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday, May 25, with music by The Legendary Chucklenuts at 8 p.m.; no cover.
Ski to Sea Blossom Time Grand Parade: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 24. Judging at 10:30 a.m., parade starts at noon at Cornwall Avenue at Alabama Street, proceeds south on Cornwall, east on Champion Street, north on State Street, and ends at York and State.
Ski to Sea Race: 7:45 a.m. to about 6 p.m. Sunday, May 25, from Mt. Baker Ski Area to Marine Park. Food booths, music and kids' activities open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Marine Park; beer garden open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Parking in the gravel lots at Harris Avenue and Sixth Street.
Fairhaven Festival: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 25, Fairhaven District. All-day street fair for all ages, with children's activities, beer garden, arts and craft vendors, nonprofit booths, ethnic foods and more.
Antique Car Show: Cancelled for 2014. Details: 360-734-1777, aarcbellingham.com.