Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


A Great Weekend for the Arts in Bellingham

If you head to downtown Bellingham this weekend, you’ll find a variety of visual and performing arts events for and by children in Whatcom County. Kids will have the opportunity to see and appreciate art by others, and also get the chance to create art themselves!

9th Annual Children's Art Walk 2009 Children’s Art Walk poster.

This year marks the 9thAnnual Children’s Art Walk, organized by Allied Arts of Whatcom County. From May 1-13, citizens are invited to enjoy artwork by over 1,500 local students displayed in the windows of various businesses and galleries in downtown Bellingham, including this website’s parent company Mindfly.

Opening night festivities on Friday, May 1, also features receptions and activities for families at various locations. From 6 to 9 PM, you can enjoy live entertainment and refreshments at Bellingham School District Central Services, Quist Violins, and The Leopold. Kids will also love stopping by locations like Allied Arts of Whatcom County Gallery to make felt bookmarks with artists LaVera Langeman, and the American Museum of Radio Electricity to work on puppet decoration with Christian Smith and Andy Koch.

Another fun and interactive event for families is the 6th Annual Bellingham Procession of the Species Parade on Saturday, May 2, at 4 PM, starting in front of City Hall. There’s no need to register to participate in the procession. The only rules are no motorized vehicles, no written or spoken words, and no live animals. Animal costumes, however, are highly encouraged, as this is a celebration of the connection to nature in our community. Over the past four Saturdays, workshops were held at the Environmental Learning Center at Maritime Heritage Park to create banners, puppets, and drums for the parade. Visit the website to see photos and videos of previous events, and consider joining in the celebration this year.

For a more laidback event, check out the 3rd Annual Bellingham Children’s Film Festival at The Pickford Cinema. Your family has four chances (May 2 & 3, 11 AM and 12:30 PM) to enjoy the 10 award-winning short films featured at the festival this year, selected from Northwest Film Forum’s Children’s Films Festival Seattle. This year’s titles include the Czech Republic’s “Jiro and Miu,” featuring a guinea pig that learns to fly, and an Australian film about the big soccer game called “My Greatest Day Ever.” Tickets are $6.25 for adults and $3.50 for children age 12 and under.

After enjoying the shows, you can check out free arts and acting workshops at various locations around town. Kids can learn improv with the cast at the Upfront Theatre or learn how to make a Flip video at the Center for Expressive Arts and Experiential Education.

For information about all these fun events, visit Activities!

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Easy Entrée Pencils in Charity Supply Drive

Written By: Evelyn Turner

The Easy Entrée, a locally-owned Bellingham meal-assembly service, is sponsoring an office supply drive for Blue Skies for Children and Marianne’s House between April 20th and May 22nd, 2009. Evelyn Turner, owner of The Easy Entrée says, “I wanted to do something to give back to the community during these tough times so I approached Blue Skies for Children and Marianne’s House about doing a supply drive.”

Executive Director Julie Guay of Blue Skies for Children says, “Office supplies can be a major expense, so when Evelyn approached me, I knew her idea could make a big difference in helping us achieve our mission of raising hope and self-esteem in our homeless, low-income, and foster children.”

Executive Director Melinda Shenk of Marianne’s House says, “We rely on community support of all kinds, including donations. This will really make a difference in our program providing day activities to adults with developmental disabilities. We are so thankful for Evelyn for thinking of this charitable drive.”

WWU Communications students are also lending a helping hand. A team of five chose to assist this project and is working diligently to help make the supply drive a success.

For more information on how you can help by donating supplies, contact Evelyn at 820-3343, Julie at 756-6710, or Melinda at 756-5232. To see a list of needed supplies, visit the websites below.

The Easy Entrée, located at 4163 Hannegan Rd., provides convenient and affordable main dishes for people who want to eat meals at home without investing the time to cook from scratch. Nutrition and cooking information is included for each entrée. The Easy Entrée is independently owned and not affiliated with a regional or national chain. To learn more or to sign up for a meal-assembly session or assembly service, visit the website or call (360) 734-5502.

Blue Skies for Children, located at 1901 N State St # B in Bellingham, raises hope and self-esteem by sponsoring enrichment activities and other essentials for homeless, low-income and foster children in Whatcom County. To learn more, call (360) 756-6710.

Marianne’s House, located at 495 E Bakerview Road in Bellingham, is a day activity center, offering quality care and activity options to adults with developmental disabilities, and to their care providers and family. To learn more, call (360) 756-5232.

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Local History and Local Fun at Dirty Dan Days

Who exactly is this Dirty Dan Harris character? The people in Fairhaven sure seem to like him—there’s a restaurant named after him, as well as one of the main streets, and you can pose for a photo with his statue next to the Village Green. Fairhaven residents and business owners even hold an annual two-day seafood festival in his honor, taking place on April 25 and 26 this year.

Who is Dirty Dan Harris? A bronze sculpture of Dirty Dan by local artist Robert McDermott.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

Dan Harris is considered to be the founding father of Fairhaven. Born in New York, Dirty Dan started out as a sailor on whaling ships. He came to Bellingham Bay in 1854 and began buying land along the water and developing the area with industry. He received the descriptor “dirty” as early as 1867 because of infrequent bathing and a tendency to rub bear grease in his hair to keep the bugs away. In 1883, Dirty Dan filed the plat for the town of Fairhaven and began selling lots. You can learn more at

This year marks the 7th Annual Dirty Dan Days on the Fairhaven Village Green. The festival features live music and a variety of activities for kids, as well as special contests like the Salmon Toss and a Dirty Dan Look-A-Like contest on Saturday.

Dirty Dan Days also get people moving. The event kicks off on Saturday morning with a Miles for Memories benefit 5K walk and run for Alzheimer Society of Washington. On Sunday morning, the Dan Harris Challenge Rowing Race stretches from Boulevard Park to Chuckanut Island. Visit the respective websites to find out more, even if you’re just interested in cheering for racers along the way.

Some of the quintessentially “Bellingham” Dirty Dan Days events take place on Sunday afternoon. Local foodies won’t want to miss out on the Chuckanut Chowder Cook-Off, featuring some of our area’s best restaurants. For $10, you can get a taste of each vendor’s chowder and pick your favorite for a full bowl, served with a tasty Avenue Bread roll. The restaurant with the most votes will be named People’s Choice; a Judge’s Choice is also selected.

Dirty Dan Days Piano Race The festival concludes with the annual Piano Race on Harris Avenue.
Photo by Theresa Carpine

The culminating event of the festival is the annual Piano Race along Harris Avenue on Sunday afternoon. The race holds its origins in an infamous story about Dirty Dan. As the story goes, Dirty Dan sold his Fairhaven hotel before a move to California, but he wanted the buyer to pay extra for the upright piano in the tavern. When the new owner refused, Dan and his friends allegedly rolled the piano into Bellingham Bay. During this annual reenactment, teams of racers pull their pianos up Harris Avenue instead of pushing them into the water.

So if you’re in the mood for a little history, some tasty food, and a healthy dose of community, check out Dirty Dan Days in Fairhaven during the last weekend of April. Visit to find out more, and don’t forget to check Activities to find out about all kinds of family events.

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