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This parade has been around since 1920. Now it’s in danger of ceasing to exist

Citing a lack of support, the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce will no longer hold the Blossomtime Parade.

Bellingham’s traditional hometown parade started in 1920, when the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce held a beauty pageant in conjunction with the Tulip Festival Parade.

In a news release Tuesday, Guy Occhiogrosso, the chamber’s president & CEO, wrote “there has been a lack of sponsor support for the parade and we can no longer continue to operate the parade. Our board of directors voted in January to discontinue the parade effective immediately so that the Chamber staff could refocus their efforts on Chamber programs.”

Chamber officials said the parade has continued to suffer a lack of community support and it has been increasingly difficult to attract parade entries.

“We hope that there is a community organization that would be willing to take over the parade,” Occhiogrosso said. “It has been a community tradition since 1920 and we are excited to pass the legacy onto another organization.”

Anyone interested in taking over the parade responsibilities can email the chamber at info@bellingham.com.

Location change

The Ski to Sea Junior Race this year will be moved to Zuanich Park from Lake Padden Park, the chamber announced Tuesday.

Chamber officials said the City of Bellingham “will be undergoing a sewage improvement project at Lake Padden Park in spring 2018.”

“In addition to the new location for Junior Race, we’re adding a children’s craft sale at the Squalicum Boathouse. Our own ‘Junior Chamber of Commerce’ will help budding entrepreneurs sell their arts and crafts to Jr. Ski to Sea participants and their families,” said Shelli Jones, of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce.

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