News on More Summer Events (and Beyond…)

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition Awards

​Out of more than 300 submissions, six photographers were selected to receive top awards for their photos in the 15th annual “Essence of Bellingham” Photo Competition. 

  • Best of Show – 1st Place – “Blast From the Past” by Ben Joyce
  • Best of Show – 2nd Place – “Beautiful Bellingham-Fairhaven” by David Veatch
  • Best of Show – 3rd Place – “Galbraith Mountain Mountain Biking” by Ivy Newell
  • Best of Class – K-4 Grade – “Wearing a Mask at Easter” by Chantelle Forsyth
  • Best of Class – 9-12 Grade – “Plumy Winter Skies” by Caden Seyler
  • Best of Class – College – “The Light Has Not Gone” by Tristin Munich

Along with top winners, 115 best of category and honorable mention photographs will be displayed in the City Hall lobby. A public reception and participation in the Downtown Art Walk have been temporarily postponed due to COVID-related restrictions.
The competition was sponsored by the City of Bellingham and the Whatcom Museum. Submissions were juried by representatives from the Whatcom Museum and City of Bellingham. Winning entries were selected based on how well they captured the essence of Bellingham and the quality of the photograph.
All entries will be added to Whatcom Museum’s photo archives and may appear on BTV or in other City publications. A photo gallery of this year’s entries, a complete list of awards, and details about the next competition are available at​ 

Art Tour on Lummi Island

Lummi Island Artists’ Studio Tour is going virtual! Normally Memorial Day weekend, now online for the month of May. Today we feature the work of quilter Mary Barstow. Mary makes many products with her quilt designs, and has a small retail building adjacent to the Islander Store. She is coordinator and active participant during our summer Farmers Markets and you can find her work in many local arts festivals.

News from Marla Bronstein on Elizabeth Park Concert Series

Here’s what Marla says: Thanks to an incredibly committed community, the Summer of 2020 will include Elizabeth Park Summer virtual concert series, thanks to the continued partnership of The Eldridge Society for History and Preservation and Bellingham Parks and Recreation.  We won’t meet face-to-face in the park Elizabeth and Madison streets, not while grabbing dinner or waiting in line for Mallard ice cream while listening to music as we have in the past. But we will all be able to safely and distantly socialize from our own homes.
These concerts will be a mix of live and pre-recorded shows, all live- streamed on the Elizabeth Park Concert Facebook page, as well as the Elizabeth Park YouTube Channel. Viewers will NOT need to have either a Facebook or YouTube account to watch either concert feed. But make sure you can turn up your speakers!! If you do have Facebook account; think about hosting your own “watch party.”
We will get through this together, while continuing to enjoy what Bellingham has to offer and staying safe.

The lineup:

BAND                                     GENRE                                                             DATE

Free Harmony                       Classic folk-rock harmonies                            6/18/20

CraigO’s Planet Groove        Grateful Dead meets New Orleans Funk       6/25/20

The Sweet Goodbyes            Folk/Pop                                                       7/02/20

High Mountain String Band    Bellingham Based Progressive Bluegrass Band    7/09/20

Free Harmony                       Classic folk-rock harmonies                            7/16/20

4TENS Band                         Fun Classic Rock Party Music                        7/23/20  

Di Young/Fruit Cocktail         Sultry Jazz and Pop Ensemble/Eclectic           7/30/20

The Soul Shakers                 Horn-Heavy Funk and Soul                              8/06/20

bandZandt                            The County’s Best Dance Band                        8/13/20

CraigO’s Planet Groove         Grateful Dead meets New Orleans Funk        8/20/20

Blaine Community Theater News

Blaine Community Theater’s production of “The Good Deli” is null and void. The original opening date at the end of June is not compliant with Governor Inslee’s phased reopening plan, forcing the show’s production schedule to be delayed. Also, the organization’s normal venue, as a publicly owned facility, will not be available at all this summer.
“The Good Deli’s” production status will be moved into limbo at this time; auditions are cancelled, and are on hiatus. Organizers are dedicated to making a tradition of doing Halloween and Christmas shows, so worst-case scenario is “The Good Deli” will get pushed to 2021. Send questions to

Deming Logging Show Post Cancelled for Now

Due to COVID-19 the Deming Logging Show will be cancelling the June 2020 Log Show.
The show may be rescheduled to later this year.

Allied Arts Gallery Exhibits Online

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Allied Arts Gallery will be closed until further notice. There will not be an opening reception for “Dress Poetry” scheduled for June, but please enjoy images of works from the show through the online gallery at
The Poetry Dress Project, June 5–26, will feature work by artist Leslie Wharton.
“Dress Poetry” and Allied Arts of Whatcom County are joining to inspire poets to make poetry more accessible and visual. Dresses and poetry hold memory and can express to the world who we are. In celebration of changing norms on wearing dresses, and the 100th anniversary of suffragettes winning the right to vote, pull those pretty, powerful, dresses and poems out of the closet for this exciting show.
There will also not be an opening reception for “Precisely Abstract,” scheduled for July, but please enjoy images of works from the show through the online gallery at “Precisely Abstract” will showcase abstract, multi-media artwork from local artists David Syre, Christopher Morrison, Kevin Coleman and Mitchell Van Duzer. Details: 360-676-8548,

Whatcom Events Cancellations

Whatcom Events’  remaining 2020 events; the Tour de Whatcom scheduled for July 18, the Mt. Baker Hill Climb scheduled for Sept. 13, and the Trails to Taps Relay scheduled for Oct. 18 are all officially cancelled as of today due to the COVID19 pandemic.  Mayor Seth Fleetwood has announced that all summer events in the Bellingham area are cancelled and with the uncertainty of that being extended, Whatcom Events is not able to host these events this year.  It is the organization’s intention to be back in 2021 to host these events and the Ski to Sea Race. Details:

No Fair in Mount Vernon

Skagit County Parks, Recreation & Fair made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Skagit County Fair, originally scheduled for August 12- 15, 2020. This decision comes following Dr. Howard Leibrand’s recommendation that all large scale events be cancelled or postponed through the summer.
“Our hearts go out to all those who depend on the Fair for their livelihood, showmanship and entertainment,” said Skagit County Fair Manager Aric Gaither. “The Skagit County Fair has been a flagship event in our community for more than 120 years, and rest assured that following this year, the event will be with us for 120 more.”
Skagit County Parks, Recreation & Fair hopes to bring programming back to the fairgrounds as safety protocols allow and will be providing opportunities to support exhibitors, vendors, sponsors, entertainers and others who have been impacted by the cancellation. The Fairgrounds ask that you continue to check their social media pages and website for more information.
“We are saddened that we won’t be able to host the fair this year, but public health has to come first,” said Brian Adams, Skagit County Parks and Recreation Director. “We’ve got our eyes set on the 2021 Fair, scheduled for August 11-14, 2021. We’ll be looking forward to seeing everyone there.”
If you have questions or need additional information, contact Aric Gaither at or 360-416-1350.

SeaFeast Cancelled

The Bellingham SeaFeast board and staff have determined that the 2020 festival cannot proceed on Sept. 19 and 20 as originally planned. The astounding economic impacts, and the unknowns of the ongoing public health crisis, make it impossible to plan a festival as extensive as we have shared with you in years past.
Organizers know this announcement is yet another disappointment this season, and it does not reflect the continuing work of our industrious and vibrant waterfront community and are sad we cannot have a full festival–after all, who will dance with Crabby? However, they plan to continue a sustainable festival next year by taking the right steps now to allow for a strong return in 2021 to properly celebrate with you on the shores of Bellingham Bay.
Fear not! They are committed to fulfilling the mission of Bellingham SeaFeast with activities appropriate for the circumstances that exist in September. We already have several ideas and conversations underway to make that a reality. While we all reshape aspects of our lives, we are also reimagining how Bellingham SeaFeast can be a “Small Feast,” or perhaps, a “Sea Snack” in 2020. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and email newsletter–as we develop those plans and share opportunities to support local fishermen and marine industry, make and eat delicious seafood, enjoy our waterfront resources, and celebrate our maritime heritage of Whatcom County. We look forward to bringing the full Bellingham SeaFeast weekend back to Squalicum Harbor next year on Sept. 18 and19, 2021. Organizers are grateful for their partners, especially the City and Port of Bellingham, whose support has allowed this festival to become the best weekend on Bellingham’s waterfront over the past four years.