Get out your green for St. Patrick’s Day events

Lance Romo, recreation coordinator at Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department and the primary organizer for the annual Runnin’ O’ the Green race, says that every now and again someone will e-mail him, asking “Will the race cancel if it rains?”

“I look them straight in their digital eye,” he says and key, “you’re not from around here, are you?”

Romo adheres to the view that “we’ll start the event in any kind of weather and we’ll like it.”

Last year’s start was delayed first by about a half mile of the BNSF (Burlington Northern Sante Fe) train, followed by a considerably quieter Amtrak, says Romo.

“We stood by enjoying the refreshing March air with 900 of our closest clover-clad friends.”

“Other issues, like gale-force winds and hail haven’t dampened our spirits either. We just button down the stroller, take another hit off the double-tall Americano and soldier on, secure in the knowledge that we’ll shortly be finishing at Bellingham’s favorite bistro to the foot-stomping sounds of Maggie’s Fury and the other parade entertainment.”

Speaking of parades, the big news this year is that the Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade is now a 501C3 nonprofit organization, says the general manager of Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro (who, this time of year, calls herself “Janet O’Lightner;” her real name is Janet Lightner).

“We have been fund raising and thanks to those efforts the Parade is self-sustaining with a ‘rainy-day’ — her joke —fund to boot,” she says.

“We have more than 25 downtown businesses participating in our inaugural window-decorating contest,” Lightner says, advising that parade-goers should check them out.

Lightner says that “the Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade, now in its sixth year, is a great opportunity for the citizens of Whatcom County to get outdoors (rain or shine) and thank our public safety personnel who (as we all know) are here for us 365 days a year rain or shine.”

Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Newbold is the grand marshal this year.

She adds that the Bellingham Senior Activity Center will be selling breakfast sandwiches to raise money for the Meals on Wheels program nearby at 315 Halleck St.

Also, Lightner says, parade-day volunteers are needed to help move street barricades. If interested, email stpatsbham@gmail.com.

Romo is also seeking volunteers to help with Saturday’s race. Email him at Lromo@cob.org.