A disclaimer: I nominated organizers Amanda Grove, Peter Roberts, and Marla Bronstein for the recent Mayor’s Arts Awards (the ceremony was on May 2) for the Concerts in the Park series, hosted by Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.
Here’s why: other towns may have summer concerts, but it’s pretty rare that our concerts (all free, but donations to the bands are encouraged) take place at such incredibly scenic places.
Elizabeth Park, at Elizabeth and Madison street, where concerts take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays June 21 through Aug. 23, is a throwback to the times of Norman Rockwell, where families gather around the gazebo for old-fashioned fun, complete with ice cream from Mallard (and other food vendors). Concerts are hosted by The Eldridge Historical Society and supported by Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.
June 21: Heroes
June 28: Stirred Not Shaken
July 5: Out of the Ashes
July 12: Broken Bow String Band
July 19: Flattery
July 26: The Walrus
Aug. 2: bandZandt
Aug. 9: Dana Lyons
Aug. 16: High Mountain String Band
Aug. 23: The Replayzments
Maritime Heritage Park, at Holly Street and Central Avenue, is fast evolving to an anchor in the downtown arts district, with cool acoustics in the amphitheater. Kulshan Land Trust sponsors a beer garden for this series, but the bands are definitely family-friendly. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m.
July 14: Squirrel Butter String Band
July 21: Baby Cakes
July 28: The Anniversary Boys
Boulevard Park, 470 Bayview Drive, may be the city park with the most gorgeous view. Sailboats often line the bay to hear the music. Concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m.
In July, enjoy Friday evenings of dance at Fairhaven Village Green at 10th Street and Mill Avenue. Local instructors will teach social dance styles, then you can practice to DJ tunes until the sun sets in a free series, co-sponsored by Bellingham Parks and Rec and Bellingham Dance Company. Lessons are from 7 to 7:45 p.m., followed by dancing until 9:30 p.m.
July 6: Two-step country with Glenn Clark of Bellingham Dance Company
July 13: Argentine Tango with TangoLife
July 20: Ballroom dance with waltz lesson by Bellingham Dance Company
July 27: Salsa with Antonio Diaz from Rumba Northwest
Aug. 3: East Coast Swing with Damian Cade from Bham Hop
Aug. 10: Blues Fusion and West Coast Swing with Annika Peterson from Bellingham Dance Company
Also in July, enjoy live music and learn new dances with instruction from 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays at the Fairhaven Village Green. These are free events, but donations are appreciated.
July 1: Sea Breeze Jazz Band
July 15: Swamp Soul
July 22: Alma Villegas
July 29: Balkanarama
And there’s more: Downtown Bellingham Partnership again hosts Downtown Sounds from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, July 11-Aug. 8, on Bay Street between Prospect and Magnolia. The free, family-friendly outdoor concerts features performances by popular bands, local food vendors, a beer and wine garden, and an all-ages Family Alley.
July 11: Acorn Project with Hot House Jazz Band
July 18: Petty or Not with Dirty Ferns
July 25: Tatanka with Mr. Feelgood & the Firm Believers
Aug. 1: MarchFourth with Robt Sarazin Blake & The Letters
Aug. 8: Klozd Sirkut with Mōtus
More information at https://www.downtownbellingham.com/events or on Facebook, Downtown Sounds 2018.
Boundary Bay Brewery, 1109 Railroad Ave., hosts live music nearly every night of the week in summertime! Southern Fried Sundays at 6 p.m., Irish and Folk Mondays at 6 p.m., Out of the Ashes at 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Stringband Thursdays from 4 to 11 p.m., Fryday Fish Fry from 4 to 9 p.m. Get details at https://www.bbaybrewery.com/events.
Hotel Bellwether hosts live music through the summer, with cover charges for some gigs.
Here’s the lineup:
Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5-9 p.m.
June 14: The Shannanagins
June 21: Groovebot
June 28: SpaceBand
July 4: The Atlantics
July 5: Miller Campbell
July 12: TBA
July 19: Baby Cakes
July 26: Stacy Jones Band
Aug. 2: Mama Dirty Skirt
Aug. 9: The Staxx Brothers
Aug 16: The Atlantics
Aug. 23: Chris Eger Band
Aug. 30: Baby Cakes
Sept. 6: Miller Campbell
Sept. 13: SpaceBand
Friday/Saturday, 6-9 p.m.
June 15: Adrian Clarke
June 16: RavisKole
June 22: TBA
June 23: Kirk Roa
June 29-30: Nick Swanson
Sunday Jazz, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
July 1: Chad Petersen Trio
July 8: Anissa Snyder Quartet
July 15: Sonja Lee Quartet
July 22: Janette West Quartet
July 29: Alicia Dauber Quintet
Aug. 5: Sonja Lee Quartet
Aug. 12: Anissa Snyder Quartet
Aug. 19: Alicia Dauber Quintet
Aug. 26: Janette West Quartet
Details: 360-392-3100, http://hotelbellwether.com.
One more event of note: Bellingham’s Kaeli Earle, who just graduated from The Berklee College of Music in Boston, writes her own jazzy originals for bass and vocals (with a few standards thrown in), and is back in town with her musical pals, drummer Alex Roemmele and saxophonist and keyboardist Conner Helms to kick off their West Coast tour to Portland, San Francisco, San Diego and many stops in between. Kaeli’s one of the most enthusiastic and, dare I say, adorable upright bass players I’ve seen (she sings her rendition of “Make You Feel My Love” with such gentle passion). Her parents, Chuck and Lorraine Earle, are hosting a house concert this Friday, June 15, at 671 N Lake Samish Drive. It’s a potluck, and the house opens at 6 p.m with music beginning at 7. Donations to the musicians are highly encouraged (food and gas cost money on the road!). Please call ahead if you’re planning to come, 360-201-9714. For more about her, including music samples, go to https://kaeliearle.wixsite.com/epklive.