In Like a Lion: Fun in Downtown Bellingham this weekend

Downtown will be buzzing this weekend!

What’s Up! Magazine celebrates 20 years of publication this weekend, with a music festival on Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, at more than 40 venues and over 120 bands turning downtown Bellingham into a live music explosion. Publisher and founder Brent Cole anticipates this will be one of the biggest festivals in downtown history. Local bands, including some favorites from days gone by, will be playing throughout downtown in music venues, coffee shops, record stores, restaurants and everything in between. All shows will be free, in the exception of a handful of shows featuring reunited bands. Complete details af and on Facebook:

The First Friday Art Walk, starting at 6 p.m. March 2, offer a sneak preview of the Bellingham Comic Arts Festival (BellCAF), at  Make.Shift Gallery, 306 Flora St., with original artwork from BellCAF exhibitors as well an interactive xerox art installation. The BellCAF Group Art Show will be on display at Make.Shift Gallery through March.  BellCAF,  from noon to 7 p.m. March 31 at the Alternative Library, 519 E. Maple St., is a festival organized by Bellingham comics publisher Neoglyphic Media, along with support from the Pickford Film Center. It will feature more than 40 independent creators and small publishers in a one-day exhibition, free to the public, where their work will be available for purchase to attendees. BellCAF is unlike other comic conventions in that there will be no dealers and comic shops with rows of boxes of old comics. Instead, tables have been reserved entirely for creators of small-press and handmade books and other comic art. More on the exhibit at More on the comic convention: or contact Cullen Beckhorn, founder of the Alternative Library, at

Allied Arts Gallery, 1418 Cornwall Ave., opens a Resistance! exhibit, featuring art submitted for the Whatcom Reads! Art Challenge, alongside work by photographer Tore Ofteness and painter Frank Frazee. The reception, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, also features “Songs of Action and Compassion” with singer and guitarist Tracy Spring. More at

Photographer Mark Bergsma  presents a retrospective show, “Celebrating 40 Years behind the Camera,” opening during Art Walk night from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bellingham Frameworks, 1415 Cornwall Ave. His extensive collection of fine-art photography, featuring images from the San Juan Islands, North Cascades and the  Pacific Northwest coast, continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 3 and March 5-10. For more information, call Bergsma at 360- 671-7905 or visit

Ruckus Art Gallery, 228 E. Maple St., opens its doors to the public in conjunction with the Downtown Bellingham Art Walk. The collection of paintings and sculpture, as well as furniture, jewelry, bags and the occasional vintage relic and found object, fuses the authenticity of the Old West with a contemporary take on functional design, inspired by rust, leather, weathered wood, sterling silver, and aged canvas. More on the gallery:

While you are out and about on Friday, stop by Bellingham Cider Co., the newest spot in the ever-growing Sylvia Center for the Arts, at 205 Prospect St. (it’s open until midnight on Friday). The venue offers craft cider (I recommend the blackberry ginger) with an industry twist: small batches dedicated to distribution in our community with organic options and served in a welcoming public house overlooking Bellingham Bay. The venue also serves salads and small plates, and has a family-friendly dining space, as well as a 21-and-older bar area. Details: and on Facebook