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Steampunk, sand castles, summer games, cinema and the Salish Sea

This weekend features the annual Steampunk Festival in Fairhaven and the Sand Sculpture Contest in Birch Bay, plus an aquarium tour, the Rooftop Cinema and summertime games.

Fantastical fun

Fairhaven Steampunk Festival features outrageous costumes, a costume contest, fantastical displays, music, discussion panels, readings, and a multitude of food and retail vendors with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Village Green, corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street. Info:

Sands of time

Birch Bay features its 33rd annual Sand Sculpture Competition from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 23, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, on the beaches at Birch Bay. Event featuers competition in various categories, plus food, arts-crafts vendors and children’s activities. Free to attend and watch; entry fee of $5 general/$10 masters (no fee for nonprofit groups, families and children). Info: 360-371-5004,

Jumpin’ and jivin’

Hopscotch and Hula Hoops is a free annual event featuring classic summer games like hopscotch, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk and lawn checkers from 1-3 p.m. Friday, July 22, behind the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Hula hoops and chalk provided. Event moves to the downstairs Lecture Room in case of rain. Info: 360-778-7200,

Salish Sea creatures

An aquarist offers an in-depth look at the fish tanks and their inhabitants in the nature center at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, free at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Breazeale Interpretive Center, 10441 Bayview Edison Road, in the coastal Skagit County town of Bay View. Info:, 360-428-1558.

Movies on the roof

Pickford Film Center hosts Rooftop Cinema atop the Commercial Street Parking Garage (formerly the Parkade), at 7 p.m. Friday, July 22, 1300 Commercial St. Admission is free. Beer garden; live entertainment; food trucks; and a variety of movie-related activities. Music starts at 8:15 p.m. and the films start at dusk. Feature film is Martin Scorsese’s classic rockumentary, “The Last Waltz.” Music is a tribute concert to The Band by Stephen Ray Leslie and friends. Info: 360-738-0735,

What are you going to get out and do next weekend? Share with Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @bhamMitty, Tell us about your event at least three weeks in advance to be considered for this column.