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Hopscotch course, dance floor among ideas to enliven State Street

A crowd fills the plaza at the first Commercial Street Night Market in Bellingham on Sept. 4, 2015. The event was one of the winning ideas in the first Kapow Design Competition.
A crowd fills the plaza at the first Commercial Street Night Market in Bellingham on Sept. 4, 2015. The event was one of the winning ideas in the first Kapow Design Competition. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Would you try a 3.8-mile hopscotch course?

How about bringing your own music to throw an impromptu dance party on a floor covered by a giant umbrella?

Would you prefer an art installation that doubles as a solar-powered lighted bike rack?

Those are among the ideas to freshen up North State Street at the city’s second Kapow Design Competition at Mt. Baker Theatre on Thursday, April 21.

The city of Bellingham, Sustainable Connections and the Whatcom County Association of Realtors are sponsoring the event, calling on community members to develop ideas for drawing more people to a portion of State Street. Winners will get funding from sponsorships, grants and the event’s proceeds to bring their ideas to life.

The event is the second one of its kind — last year’s Kapow competition found ways to enliven downtown Bellingham. The Commercial Street Night Market, which was held Friday evenings late last summer, was one of the winning ideas.

This year eight groups, made up of community members, are finalists out of 25 applicants, said Rose Lathrop, green building and smart growth program manager for Sustainable Connections. A jury of local organizations narrowed the original group of applicants to the finalists.

The eight groups are vying for three awards: the people’s choice award, to be determined with live audience voting; Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville’s pick for mayor’s choice award; and a superhero award, chosen by a panel of judges representing the event sponsors.

As with last year’s event, audience members are encouraged to dress up like superheroes, and those who do will be given priority seating, according to the city. Local breweries will sell beer and a DJ will provide music.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

Attend the event

What: Second annual Kapow Design Competition.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 21. Doors open at 6.

Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

Cost: Donation of $10 suggested.

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