Dress up like your favorite video-game character; get up close with kayaks, canoes and other recreational boats; or take a nature walk along Padilla Bay.
Bellingham Anime Convention
BA~CON 2017, the seventh annual anime and cosplay convention sponsored by Bellingham Public Library, takes place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at Whatcom Community College, 237 W. Kellogg Road. The all-ages event features voice actor Matthew Erickson, musician Raj Ramayya, the Seattle Video Game Orchestra, a Maid Cafe, more than 50 artists and vendors, panels discussions and live-action role playing. Video and tabletop gaming is presented by Reset Games, Heroes Resources and Dark Tower Games. Food and beverages will be available at the WCC’s Dockside Cafe and at food trucks.
Cosplay is creative self-expression through costuming, with cosplayers often dressing as characters from fandoms they enjoy. Popular fandoms include anime titles, Dr. Who, video game characters, and Disney movies. Costumes are encouraged but not required and should be appropriate for all ages. Children younger than 12 should be accompanied by an adult. It’s $20 at the door; kids 11 and younger are free with a paying adult.
Info: bellinghamanimecon.com, on Facebook, and Jennifer Lovchik at Bellingham Public Library, 360-778-7323.
SeaSkills Marine Expo
SeaSkills Marine Expo, a free, family-friendly boating festival, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Blaine Harbor, 235 Marine Drive. It is a joint effort of the Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron and the White Rock Canadian Power and Sail Squadron. Visitors can learn about all types of recreational boats and different aspects of boating with a variety of boats at the dock, ranging from kayaks and paddle boards to sailboats and power boats, both large and small. Get up close and look at many boats inside and out, talk with owners and experts and attend workshops on various aspects of boating. Demonstrations and training in the use of emergency distress flares and fire extinguishers also will take place. Small children can enjoy the the Blaine Marine Park nautical playground, and the historic Plover ferry will take people for rides out into Semiahmoo Bay and Drayton Harbor. Info: 360-393-4123.
Mother’s Day at Big Rock Garden
The annual Mother's Day Celebration at Big Rock Garden, 2900 Sylvan St. on Alabama Hill, is from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, with poetry readings 1:30-3:30 by Linda Conroy, Betty Scott, Alexander Kinczel, Rena Priest, Kathleen McKeever, Nancy Canyon and Shannon Laws. Plein-air painters Ann Chaikin and Louise Perram will be creating art at the park and the Jud Sherwood Trio will play cool jazz. Visitors will have time to explore the sculpture at the park and enjoy light refreshments. Parking at the site is limited, so visitors are encouraged to park at Bloedel Donovan Park and take the free shuttle to the event or ride bikes to the event via the Railroad Trail. Onsite parking is available for persons with disabilities. Info: Rae Edwards, Bellingham Parks Volunteer Coordinator, 360-778-7105.
Bellingham Circus Guild presents “Something Wonderful”
Join your favorite Bellingham Circus Guild artists in an enchanting under sea adventure at 7 p.m. Fridays; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, May 12-21, at Bellingham Circus Guild’s Cirque Lab, 1401 Sixth St. Be amazed by the breathtaking flying fish, get whisked away with the seahorse carousel, have a laugh with the rope-swinging pirates and watch out for electric eels, aerialists, acrobats and jugglers, all with stunning sea-themed costumes. Admission is $20 adults, $10 for kids 5-12 and free for ages 4 and younger. Info: 818-807-6138, bellinghamcircusguild.com and on Facebook.
Explore the Native Plants at Padilla Bay
Curious about native plants growing in natural spaces? Can’t distinguish a pine from a fir? Wondering what’s blooming in the forest and meadows of the Padilla Bay region seasonally? Join certified professional horticulturist Robin Haglund and other plant-curious cohorts from 10-11 a.m. Sundays, beginning this month and continuing June 11, July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10, for a series of informal walks through the upland forests and meadows of the Padilla Bay Reserve and Breazeale Interpretive Center. Haglund is a recent transplant to the Bay View community from Seattle and is the founder and president of pioneering garden coaching firm Garden Mentors, as well as a frequent garden television expert guest and contributor. All ages are welcome and friendly leashed dogs are fine. Each walk will gather and begin under the arbor at the beginning of the upland trail by the parking lot at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center, 10441 Bayview-Edison Road, in Skagit County. No registration is needed. Info: 360-428-1070, padillabay.gov.
What are you going to get out and do next weekend? Share with Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, facebook.com/bellinghamherald. Tell us about your event at least three weeks in advance to be considered for this column.