Marie Duckworth, community relations coordinator for the Port of Bellingham, has helped coordinate the port's family-friendly Fourth of July celebration at Zuanich Point Park since the all-day festival began in 2009, and she thinks the event gets better each year.
"Prior to 2009, people would gather at Zuanich Park to watch the fireworks show on Independence Day," she says, "but there were not any organized activities during the day, nothing like what we have now.
"We were in the midst of an economic recession in 2009 when representatives from Haggen, the port and the Bellingham chamber came together and said, 'Let's do something more for the community on Independence Day,' and we all decided to start this daytime festival at Zuanich Point Park."
Duckworth says she's proud of the partnership that formed five years ago, and continues to be proud of the collaboration between all three groups.
"This is really a situation where each organization plays a significant role in making the event successful," she says.
The City of Bellingham and the Bellingham Police Department also play a big role in the event's success, she says, by helping with logistics, traffic control and public safety.
"I have a great deal of gratitude towards all the people and organizations that help make this event not only possible, but successful," she says.
Duckworth suggests that in addition to Zuanich Park, other good viewing spots for the fireworks show are the Tom Glenn Common near Hotel Bellwether, and at Boulevard Park.
Duckworth says the port will once again open part of the old Georgia-Pacific mill site, now known as the Waterfront District, so the public can enjoy the fireworks show and get a sense of how the site will be redeveloped.
The Central Avenue entrance to the G-P site, next to the Granary building on Roeder Avenue, will open to pedestrians at 9:30 p.m., and people will walk a designated route to the former G-P pier for viewing.
Because of the site's undeveloped nature, there is no vehicle access and no parking on the G-P property. People are welcome to bring coolers, food, drinks, lawn chairs, and other outdoor seating items, but no alcohol or personal fireworks will be allowed. Port-a-potties and bins for trash and recycling will be provided.
Haggen Family Fourth of July
Community festival features vendor and craft booths, live bands, and children's games at Zuanich Point Park, 2600 S. Harbor Loop Drive, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
There's also a beer-and-wine garden open 2 to 11 p.m., with last call at 10:30 p.m. No alcohol is allowed elsewhere in the park.
Allied Arts of Whatcom County hosts an art show featuring photographs and paintings by local and regional artists from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. inside Squalicum Boathouse at the park.
The festival's music schedule:
2:15 to 3 p.m.: Bellingham Youth Jazz Band
4 to 5:30: Margaret Wilder Band
6:30 to 8: 7 Second Window
9 to 10:30: Yogoman Burning Band
Fireworks begin about 10:30.
Parking is limited at Squalicum Harbor, but people can use free passenger shuttles from 11 a.m. through 11:30 p.m. Shuttle pickup is at the Port of Bellingham's Technology Development Center parking lot at Roeder Avenue and F Street; the drop-off point is the TD Curran parking lot inside Squalicum Harbor. Bicycling and walking are encouraged.
There is designated handicap parking; caregivers can drop off and pick up handicapped and elderly visitors at Squalicum Boathouse. Details: 360-734-1330, portofbellingham.com.
Blaine's Old-Fashioned Fourth
Daylong free activities in downtown Blaine begin with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., a parade at noon, an art and crafts street fair with about 80 vendors, a show-and-shine car show, a salmon barbecue, and entertainment with Robyn & Ryleigh, R Factor 5, and Sabrina y los Reyes.
People can ride the historic Plover ferry from Blaine to Semiahmoo Resort to watch the fireworks over Semiahmoo Bay at 10:15 p.m. Details: 360-332-6484, blainechamber.com.
RE Sources' Yes, We Can! Craft Beer Festival
The festival featuring games for kids, beer for adults, live music by Hot Damn Scandal, a performance by Bellingham Circus Guild, and a great view of fireworks, starts at 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Station, 1400 W. Holly St.
Admission is $20 general, $35 VIP, with tickets at Community Food Co-op, Boundary Bay Brewery, The RE Store and Elizabeth Station. Details: re-sources.org/events/yes-we-can.
Party on the Herald Roof: Fourth of July
People can come to the Herald building, 1155 N. State St. to watch the fireworks. A ticket provides roof access for viewing, plus food, beer, and live music starting at 8 p.m.
Proceeds support Downtown Bellingham Partnership. Tickets, $50, can be reserved at 360-527-8710. Details: Party on the Herald Roof on Facebook.
Reach Margaret Bikman at 360-715-2273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.