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Holiday programs, shopping make spirits bright at Whatcom Museum

Watch as Whatcom County celebrates the holidays in style

There’s something magical about cold nights and holiday lights, as communities across Whatcom County celebrate the season with tree lightings, visits from St. Nick and a display of gingerbread creativity.
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There’s something magical about cold nights and holiday lights, as communities across Whatcom County celebrate the season with tree lightings, visits from St. Nick and a display of gingerbread creativity.

With the holiday season in full swing, the Whatcom Museum continues to bring cheer and celebration through a number of community programs at Old City Hall and unique shopping opportunities at the Lightcatcher building.

Running until Dec. 31 is the museum’s annual Deck the Old City Hall festivities, where visitors can see more than 20 decorated trees, as well as a Hanukkah menorah display in the museum’s iconic building. Trees were decorated by local organizations such as the North Cascades Audubon Society, Chicas Reinas Mexican folkloric dance troupe and the Historical Society of Whatcom County. Admission to Deck the Old City Hall is by donation (regular admission applies to the Museum’s Lightcatcher building), and is offered as a seasonal gift to the community.

This Saturday, Dec. 9, between 12:30-2:30 p.m., children can meet Wally the Museum Mouse, the beloved museum mascot, and take photos by the big holiday tree in the Rotunda Room. Wally only makes special appearances for the holidays, and occasionally at local parades, so visitors will want to take the opportunity to see him.

For those who like to get into the holiday spirit by listening to carols and holiday tunes, the Museum Advocates will host a free concert by the Bellingham High School Showstoppers from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall. The Showstoppers will spread holiday magic with their seasonal favorites and annual choreographed medley, featuring songs from the musical “Grease.”

Join the Whatcom County Historical Society 7:30-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14, for their annual history holiday open mic. The public is welcome to participate and share about local history, interesting artifacts and research projects. Local history authors will be on hand selling their books for holiday giving.

Speaking of holiday giving, the Museum Store at the Lightcatcher building offers a unique variety of artistic and educational gifts. Featuring local artists, authors and even toy-makers, shoppers can find jewelry, art, stationary, home accessories, books, and toys at the store. Gift memberships are also available for purchase.

Save the Date: Start 2018 off on the right foot at The Art Auction Gala, presented by Peoples Bank, at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the Lightcatcher building. Don’t miss this glittering evening of food, wine, and silent and live auctions. Guests can bid on fine art, experience packages, selections from local businesses and more. As the Whatcom Museum’s largest fundraiser of the year, the gala is not only a fun and exciting event, but also provides vital funding for exhibitions and programming. Tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3139709.

Christina M. Claassen is Whatcom Museum’s marketing and public relations manager. Reach her at cmclaassen@cob.org.

Whatcom Museum

The non-profit Whatcom Museum is operated by the Whatcom Museum Foundation and the city of Bellingham. The Old City Hall building at 121 Prospect St. and the Lightcatcher Building at 250 Flora St. are open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. The Family Interactive Gallery, located inside the Lightcatcher, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission, good for all sites in a day, is $10 general, $8 youth (6-17 years) and student, senior or military, $5 children (2-5 years). Memberships start at $50 and include free museum admission.

The museum offers a variety of programs and exhibitions about art, nature and Northwest history. Its collections contain more than 200,000 artifacts and art of regional importance, including a photographic archive. The museum is accredited nationally by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate.

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