Ferndale-area residents should be ready for heavier traffic this weekend as the 27th annual Baker Blast soccer tournament runs Friday through Sunday.
Baker Blast features 119 squads with more than 2,000 boys and girls ages 9-18, including teams from Whatcom County, Washington state and British Columbia. Matches will be played at Phillips 66 Soccer Park, 5238 Northwest Drive; and Ferndale High School, 5830 Golden Eagle Drive.
Matches start at 6:40 p.m. Friday, run 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and end at 5 p.m. Sunday. A full schedule is online at whatcomsoccer.com under the Baker Blast heading.
Admission and parking is free.
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Lance Calloway, the event’s executive director, said the tournament brings about 4,500 people to Whatcom County and generates $1.6 million in sales for lodging, food, transportation and shopping.
Calloway said a local team to watch is BU14 Gold, which finished third in its league and was a quarterfinalist in the Washington State Championship Cup, losing only to the eventual champion. Several Whatcom FC Ranger squads will be competing.
Proceeds from the tournament are invested in the soccer park’s maintenance and development, Calloway said.