Put on your dancing shoes and kick-off the holidays at Whatcom Museum’s annual Deck the Old City Hall Cocktail Party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at 121 Prospect St. Stroll through the building and enjoy the festive decor and themed holiday trees while sipping on a glass of wine. Nosh on delicious appetizers by Crave Catering, and join in the dancing! Tickets are $50 per person to the 21-and-older event. Proceeds support Whatcom Museum exhibitions and programs. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. Details: 360-778-8930, www.whatcommuseum.org
Downtown Bellingham Partnerships’ annual Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony is Saturday, Dec. 1, at Depot Market Square, Railroad Avenue at Maple Street, in partnership with the City of Bellingham. Festivities, which begin at 5:30 p.m., will feature photo opportunities with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies provided by Woods Coffee, ornament-making with Gabriel’s Art Kids, face painting with Fancy Face By Bailey, performances by students at Harper&I Dance Center, caroling by The Mount Baker Toppers and a singalong with Bellinghome School of Music. The ceremony will also host special guest Mayor Linville. The tree-lighting is at 6 p.m.
Bellingham Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, with boats leaving Squalicum Harbor, traveling to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal at around 6 p.m., and then returning to the harbor. Vote for your favorite boat on the Bellingham Yacht Club Facebook page during the event to help us choose the coveted Community Choice Award. Visit www. byc.org for details.
A public Menorah Lighting will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Lee Memorial Park (aka Library Lawn), 210 Lottie St. The event, which marks the beginning of Hanukkah, is hosted by the Rohr Center for Jewish Life-Chabad of Bellingham and Western Washington University.
Congregation Beth Israel’s Hanukkah Party is from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 9, at 751 San Juan Boulevard, with food, music, games and the annual Dreidel Spin-Off.
Washington’s Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna will visit Western Washington University for a reading of her poetry at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, in Academic West 210.
The reading is free and open to the public, and sponsored by Western’s English Department.
Castro Luna fled war-torn El Salvador for the United States at the age of 14 with her family. She went on to earn an MFA in Poetry and an master’s degree in Urban Planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, she became Seattle’s first Civic Poet, a position appointed by the mayor. In that position, Castro Luna won acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map of showcasing poems about different locations around the city, a project that landed her an interview on PBS NewsHour. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook This City and the collection Killing Marías. Her website is http://www.castroluna.com/
Washington will become the first state to embed a full-time artist in a statewide agency, bringing in a creative approach to advancing the agency’s goals like improving safety, reducing congestion, promoting economic vitality, supporting multi-modal transportation systems, and creating healthier communities.
With the support of ArtPlace America, Transportation for America (a program of Smart Growth America), and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are creating a new one-year artist-in-residence program, the first of its kind in the country.
Applications are open now for interested artists to apply for this groundbreaking new program housed within WSDOT. Here’s the application form: Click heading to expand each section or download full PDF. Applications must be received online here by Jan. 7.