Families

Port’s gingerbread competition kicks off the holiday season

The Malaspina Alaskan ferry crew won a blue ribbon in the gingerbread contest professional division with their “North to Alaska” gingerbread display at the annual Holiday Port Festival at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in 2014.
The Malaspina Alaskan ferry crew won a blue ribbon in the gingerbread contest professional division with their “North to Alaska” gingerbread display at the annual Holiday Port Festival at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in 2014. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Port of Bellingham’s annual Holiday Port Festival is a free family-friendly event held the first weekend of December at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. This year’s event is Dec. 2-4.

It features performances by local choirs, bands, and dance groups; horse-drawn wagon rides; Santa Claus; and children’s art activities. There’s free cookies and hot apple cider and expansive views of Bellingham Bay from the terminals broad, curved windows. But the key attraction is the annual gingerbread house competition, said Marie Duckworth, airport landside supervisor at the Port of Bellingham, who coordinated the program for several years.

“It’s a true community event,” Duckworth said. “It kicks off the holiday season. It’s like a microcosm of the whole Whatcom County area. It shows off people’s creativity and tends to mark activities and events that are part of us.”

Duckworth said that past gingerbread house competition entries have featured the Space Needle, the Alaskan ferries, and Bellingham’s Old City Hall building. When historic Whatcom Middle School was ravaged by fire, several entries featured the iconic building – including one that depicted firefighting efforts. Other entries have featured soccer games, comic book characters, and even a chess board with playable chess pieces.

For contest entry information and a schedule of events, go online to portofbellingham.com, or call 360-676-2500.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @bhamMitty

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