What Can You Do Besides Ski to Sea?

The Bellingham Youth Jazz Band, directed by Mark Kelly, will present a dinner show of jazz ensemble music from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday May 23, at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave. Big Band and combo jazz arrangements will be played by students in grades age 11 through 16, featuring instrumental and vocal soloists. Table reservations may be made at 360-671-7143. The band will perform again at 7:30 p.m. June 1 at The Majestic, 1027 N. Garden St., and at 5 p.m. June 2 at Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave.
Mark also plays with The Atlantics from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 25, at the Ski to Sea Block Party at Boundary Bay, with an appearance by his young quartet, Kid’Sax.

Western Washington University’s Heritage Resources Distinguished Speaker series host Chuck and Dee Robinson at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 24, in Special Collections (Wilson Library’s sixth floor) to present “It Takes a Village Books: Building Community, One Book at a Time,” recounting the history of Village Books, its growth from a small “mom and pop” store to a two-location enterprise employing 50 people, and its broad engagement with the community. For more information contact CPNWS Archivist Ruth Steele, Ruth.Steele@wwu.edu, 360- 650-774. More about the free event at https://library.wwu.edu/node/19403

Vancouver, B.C.’s Blackthorn plays tunes rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26, at Lovitt Restaurant, 1114 Harris Ave Cover is $10.

The Holmes Shea Band host its CD release party for “Soul Biscuits” from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at the Old Edison, 5829 Cains Court, in Edison. There’s no cover, and pedal steel wizard Thom Gustufson will join the band for the first set. Seating is limited so come early if you want to be sure to have a table. And Mark Kelly is in this band too!

The word is out! The Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave., has been sold. Matt and Alona Christman are going off watch, but new owners Teresa Dalton and Glenn DeHekker plan to continue the Firehouse’s mission of supporting the arts in our community, while at the same time opening the doors to accommodate special events such as weddings, end-of-life ceremonies, lectures, corporate presentations, and more.  The facility will also be christened with a new name to reflect this growth: Firehouse Arts and Event Center. Kate and Aaron will continue to operate the Firehouse Cafe, and Teresa and Glenn will be working to enhance this neighborhood gathering spot, eventually adding beer and wine, outdoor seating in the park and extended hours.

In honor of these changes, as well as for a chance to chat with Teresa and Glenn, there’ll be a gathering open to the public, all ages, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 27, in the Firehouse’s Pocket Park.  There will be a covered beer garden serving local tap beers, cider from the Cider House, and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as a barbecue with brats and dogs. There will also be yard games and a dunk tank!  (Who isn’t itching to get Matt soaking wet!) This will be a cash-only event and profits from the beer garden will benefit a couple of The Firehouse’s long-time nonprofits: Bellingham Repertory Dance and Firehouse Arts in Motion.

And for all you want to know about the biggest annual event in Bellingham, go to https://skitosea.com/ and for news about the new, revised former Blossomtime Parade, now the Memorial Day Parade, visit http://www.1335mclbellingham.com/.