Participate in the family-friendly Smelt Derby in La Conner, make a mask for Mardi Gras and join the Bellingham City Council in Family Council Day.
La Conner Smelt Derby
The Rotary Club of La Conner will host the 52nd annual Smelt Derby on Saturday, a special family event. The Rotarians will serve pancakes, eggs and all the trimmings from 8-10 a.m. at Maple Hall to benefit the La Conner Senior Class. Work off your breakfast with the Skagit Symphony’s USA Track and Field-certified 5K or 10K runs at 10 a.m. Or take the family on a fun walk around town, see the town’s award-winning public art displays and maybe even glimpse one of La Conner’s town turkeys. The Smelt Derby fishing contest is on the town docks from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids can win cash prizes of $100 for bringing in the largest smelt, and there’ll be other prizes for unusual catches from the channel. Kids will love the fishing action and the free fun at Maple Hall, the site of the famous “fish printing” where budding artists can create a masterpiece out of a dead fish and paint from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also for the youngsters, the La Conner Sea Scouts will offer tours of their historic schooner, “Rejoice.” Info: Lee Carlson, 360-466-0127, or Sandy Stokes, 360-466-3315; laconnerrotary.org.
Get creative at Fairhaven Toy Garden
Kids can decorate Mardi Gras masks with lots of fun stuff from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Fairhaven Toy Garden, 909 Harris Ave. There is no need to sign up for this event; drop in anytime. There are some special workshops coming up, taking place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for ages 10 and older; the workshop fee is $10 for each child and includes all materials. Registration is necessary. Saturday: Felted farm girl or boy: Everyone’s farmer will be different, which is what makes this so fun. March 4: Felted goose: Add the goose to your farm animal collection or begin stocking your barn if this is your first time. Info: 360-714-8552, fairhaventoygarden.com.
Try hockey for free
Register for “Try Hockey for Free,” an opportunity to let your kids try playing ice hockey in a safe and supportive environment from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bellingham Sportsplex, 1225 Civic Field Way. The Whatcom County Amateur Hockey Association and Birch Equipment Rentals and Sales will be sponsoring this free event. The “Try Hockey for Free” session will be led by WCAHA coaches, letting kids 4-8 years old experience firsthand the fastest (and most slippery) game in town. Skates, sticks and pucks will be provided. Full hockey equipment will be available for the first 60 kids to check in. Advance registration is required to participate in this event; there is no same-day registration. Check-in and equipment fitting begins 30 minutes prior to event time; please bring a piece of ID to exchange for any borrowed equipment. Note: For those interested in taking the next step, there’ll be information on playing with the Mites Play Hockey Mini Camps. Info: tryhockeyforfree.com, 415-275-0616, firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Council hosts Family Council Day
The city of Bellingham is hosting a child-friendly opportunity for young people to see government in action during Family Council Day on Monday at Bellingham City Hall, 210 Lottie St. A meet-and-greet begins at 6:15 p.m., when children may have their pictures taken with local elected officials and receive City Council member trading cards. Light snacks will be served. The council meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and all attendees are welcome to make a statement of up to three minutes long during the public comment period. While children and families are always welcome to attend Bellingham City Council meetings, Family Council Day will provide an opportunity for young people to participate in the process. The event aims to encourage children’s civic participation and increase their knowledge of how government works. City Council meetings appear live on television, providing an opportunity for the messages of young people to reach a large audience in Whatcom County. Info: 360-778-8202, cob.org/news.
Read Across America Story Time with the Cat in the Hat!
Celebrate 19 years of the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” and Dr. Seuss’ birthday at 2 p.m. March 2 at Village Books, 1200 11th St. Be ready to hear stories and have your picture taken with none other than the Cat in the Hat. The NEA’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2, Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday. It’s one of the largest celebrations of reading in the United States. The same event takes place at 2 p.m. March 4 at the Lynden location of Village Books in the Waples Mercantile Building; 430 Front St. Info: 360-671-2626, villagebooks.com.