Seniors & Aging

Bluegrass to classical, summer music beckons Whatcom seniors

Soprano Ilana Davidson performs in the Bellingham Festival of Music’s concert featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major on July 13 at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center.
Soprano Ilana Davidson performs in the Bellingham Festival of Music’s concert featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major on July 13 at Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald


Bellingham Festival of Music continues through July 17 with orchestra and chamber music concerts, recitals, and master classes by world-class musicians. Guest artists include violinist Cho-Liang Lin, the Calidore String Quartet, pianists Kuok-Wai Lio and Peter Serkin, and soprano Ilana Davidson.

Free pre-concert lectures begins at 6:30 p.m. in the WWU PAC Concert Hall before each of the five orchestral concerts (July 9, 13 and 17).

Highlights: The Calidore Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. July 7 as well as in concerto with the orchestra at 7:30 p.m. July 9.

In a popular and often sold-out performance and catered reception, orchestral musicians will perform Chamber Music-by-the-Bay at 4 p.m. July 10 at Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The program includes works by Franz Schubert, Bela Bartok, Max Bruch and Camille Saint-Saëns.

The festival culminates with Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor on July 17.

Tickets: 360-650-6146,

Details: 360-201-6621,

Accessibility: All venues are wheelchair-accessible.


▪ The Alternative Humane Society’s annual Paws and Claws Expo is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 31 at Bloedel Donovan Park, with vendors, demonstrations, a community garage sale and more.

Details: 360-671-7445,

▪ The fourth annual Birch Bay Music Festival is July 29-31 at Birch Bay Golf Club,7878 Birch Bay Drive, with children’s activities, vendors, a beer-and-wine garden, and music by 21 bands. Proceeds benefit Orca Network, a nonprofit dedicated to improving orca habitat; and Rescued Hearts and Happy Tails Happy Homes, which are dog and cat rescues.

Details: 360-371-5409,

▪ The Dog Days of Summer Run/Walk & Festival, sponsored by Whatcom Humane Society, is 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Lake Padden Park, with a fun run/walk and 10k run, games, contests, exhibitions, and food for dogs and people.

Details: 360-733-2080,

Accessibility: Bloedel Donovan Park, Birch Bay Golf Club, and Lake Padden Park have uneven ground.


The annual celebration of Blaine’s maritime heritage is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 6-7 at Blaine Marina and Semiahmoo Spit, with 30 steamboats on display, a model boat exhibit, live music, craft booths, and sea chanty sing-alongs. Other activities include the George Raft Race, exhibits, Plover Ferry rides, and a pet contest.

Details: 360-332-6484,

Accessibility: Some locations at the marina and spit might not be wheelchair-accessible.


The annual fair runs Aug. 15-20 at the Northwest Washington Fair and Events Center, 1775 Front St., Lynden, with carnival rides; food; grandstand entertainers; a demolition derby; and quilts, canning, art, photography, and 4H and FFA exhibits. Gates open 9 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Carnival hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets for reserved grandstand seats don’t include gate admission ($12 adults, $10 seniors, $7 ages 6-12), which is required. The fair includes the Lynden PRCA Rodeo at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16-17; admission is $15 and doesn’t include gate admission, also required.

Details: 877-699-FAIR (3247).

Accessibility: Handicap-only parking near main entrance; paved walkways throughout the grounds; wheelchairs loaned for free use on fairgrounds; wide entrances and aisles in buildings.


The inaugural Hovander Homestead Bluegrass Festival, hosted by Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation, is Sept. 2-5 at Hovander Homestead Park, 5299 Nielson Ave., Ferndale. Highlights include a main stage with live bluegrass music 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; camping Friday afternoon to noon Monday; craft and food vendors; a beer garden; instrument contests, workshops and jam sessions; and children’s entertainment and activities. Early-bird tickets available through Aug. 15. Camping is extra.

Details: 360-474-7715,

Accessibility: Hovander Homestead Park is uneven ground.