Need a fun event for the kids today (Wednesday, July 11)? Go on an Insect Safari Benefit for Common Threads from 5 to 7 p.m. at Boundary Bay Brewery’s Beer Garden, 1107 Railroad Ave. Kid-friendly entomologist and science educator Don Ehlen will present his collection of live and preserved specimens, and Common Threads Americorps Food Education team will be on hand at the beer garden play area with bug-themed crafts. Eric Bablinskas, Pam Sinnett, and Brian Lindsay will provide live family-friendly music. Admission is free for kids and the $10 suggested donation for adults benefits Common Threads seed-to-table school gardening programs. Details: 360-927-1590.
Village Books’ Chuckanut Radio Hour welcomes back Thor Hanson on Thursday, July 12, at Whatcom Community College’s Heiner Theater, 231 W. Kellogg Road. He’ll talk about his new book, “Buzz: The Nature & Necessity of Bees,” a natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round. Hanson, a conservation biologist and Guggenheim fellow, lives with his wife and son on Orcas Island. Tickets are $5, available at Village Books and BrownPaperTickets.com. Receive a free ticket with purchase of Buzz. Doors open at 6:30 p.m, with music by The Scarlet Locomotive!, and taping for KMRE 102.3 FM begins promptly at 7 p.m.
The Skagit River Shakespearean Festival season begin Friday, July 13, at the Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheatre, 19299 Rexville Grange Road, between Conway and La Conner. Running in repertory through Aug. 18 are “King Lear,” “Titus Andronicus,” and “The Grimm Shakespearan Tales of Uncle Dicky” (a new play by Carolyn Travis). For details, go to https://shakesnw.org.
Join Animals as Natural Therapy for their 13th annual Bluegrass Bash and Ice Cream Social from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at 721 Van Wyck Road. This free, family event includes live music, dancing, games, a petting zoo, horse demonstrations, a hot dog dinner and Mallard ice cream. Parking and free shuttle service is available at Bank of the Pacific, 4124 Hannegan Road. Animals as Natural Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit helping youth-at-risk and veterans heal through animal-assisted programs. Details: (360) 671-3509.
Bellingham Country Dance Society hosts its annual Ferry Boat Contra Dance on Sunday, July 15, with live music aboard the boat by Countercurrent (Brian Lindsay and Alex Sturbaum). Dances will be called by Lindsey Dono. Tickets are $15 and include the dance and a foot passenger ticket. Purchase your tickets outside the main terminal in Anacortes from the dance organizers. Dancers will take the 2 p.m. ferry going to Friday Harbor and returning to Anacortes at approximately 4:50 p.m. Arrive early to allow for parking, walking to the terminal and purchasing your tickets, since the boat stops loading passengers before the scheduled departure time and waits for none. Details: www.bellinghamcountrydance.org
A pre-sale party for Mount Baker Theatre’s 2018-2019 events is from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at the theater, 104 N. Commercial St. to purchase seats in person before the shows become fully available for sale online the following day. Attendees can choose from 27 shows that take place between this August and June 2019, with premium seating choices and package savings available. Activities on Sunday include insider theater tours, open access to try out different seats and views, video footage of upcoming events, popcorn, games and prizes. Among the season shows are Clint Black, Capitol Steps, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” STOMP, “Spamalot,” the Portland Cello Project, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Michael Feinstein with Storm Large. Details: 360-734-6080, www.mountbakertheatre.com.
Now under the new owners (Teresa Dalton and Glenn DeHekker), the Firehouse Performing Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave., presents a concert by the Guemes Chamber Players at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 15. Members of the ensemble are Semmy Stahlhammer, violinist and long time concertmaster of Stockholm Royal Opera Orchestra; Sergei Teleshev, prize winning accordion virtuoso playing button accordion; and Karie Prescott: violist, member of Los Angeles Opera Orchestra since 1991, and founder and director of Guemes Island Chamber Music Series. They will plays an eclectic mix of music ranging from Bach and Mozart to beautiful Swedish folk songs and rousing klezmer tunes. Purchase tickets, $20, at: www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.