Bellingham December News

“I drink to make other people more interesting.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Looking for a new spot to “pre-funk” before getting out on the town for dinner or a show? How about a night cap location on Friday or Saturday nights? Galloway’s Cocktail Bar at the Fairhaven Village Inn has a new Cocktail Porch. You can even rent it out for your group. It’s a great way to stay cozy and dry “outside” while people-watching with your favorite beverage.

You’ll see me there with a martini and half-eaten charcuterie plate soon!

Sales & Special Projects Manager

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Galloway’s Cocktail Bar

Our Deco era bar and restaurant expanded its four walls. Galloway’s Cocktail Porch is now open year-round to enjoy seasonal bites and hand-crafted cocktails! Plan your next event or spontaneous outing and dine in our heated and covered porch.

Experience Galloway’s Cocktail Bar and Porch seven days a week, Sunday to Tuesday from 3pm – 10pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm – 11pm with happy hour daily from 3pm – 6pm. Our curated cocktails, beer/wine, savory bites, and indulging sweets are sure to satisfy.

Bellingham International Airport Welcomes Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines began scheduled operations from the Bellingham International Airport for the first time on Saturday, November 7th as the airport welcomed its newest carrier, Southwest. The airline, America’s largest air carrier of domestic air travelers, launched a new nonstop service to Las Vegas and Oakland, providing connections onward into the extensive Southwest network of 120 cities across eleven countries.

New Location and Driving Route for COVID-19 Testing Site
at Bellingham International Airport

The Whatcom County Health Department’s drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Bellingham International Airport, operated through a partnership with Northwest Laboratory, has moved to a new location at the airport. Previously located in Economy Lot A, the testing site now operates out of Economy Lot B, effective Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Whatcom County Waives Emergency Repair Permit Fees

In response to the extraordinary needs of Whatcom County residents resulting from recent flooding, the County permit fee for emergency building repairs has been waived per an executive order signed by County Executive Satpal Sidhu on November 24, 2021.

The emergency repair requests must be received by Whatcom County Planning & Development Services (PDS) no later than January 31, 2022, in order for the fee waiver to apply. The waiver only applies to Whatcom County permits. For residents of incorporated towns and cities, please contact your local jurisdiction for repair permit information.

Washington Tourism Alliance Announces
New Rural Tourism Support Program

The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) is launching a new Rural Tourism Support (RTS) Program and has selected Tri-County Economic Development District (TEDD) in Northeastern Washington as its inaugural destination partner through a competitive process and review by a panel of industry experts.

The RTS program will serve as a seminal phase of development for communities across the state as well as a key strategic element in the WTA’s broader destination development programming.

North Cascades Highway Closed for the Season Due to Avalanche Risk

With a forecast of snow followed by wet weather in November, the SR 20 North Cascades Highway closed on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. for the season. For the safety of the traveling public and winter maintenance crews, the pass must be closed.

The North Cascades Highway is regularly closed when weather, snow conditions, and avalanche danger threaten the safety of drivers and our maintenance crews. Avalanches typically close the highway between late November and mid-December and re-opens early May.

Holiday Port Festival Brings Back Santa & a ‘Virtual’ Gingerbread Contest Bellingham Cruise Terminal Dec. 3-5

On Dec. 3-5 The Port of Bellingham celebrates another year of Holiday Port at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

This year’s festival will look a little different due to COVID-19, but will still offer fun and holiday spirit for the community. This year, the Port is excited to announce our “Holiday Port Quest”. This quest will take place at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal on Saturday, December 4th from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (or until all prizes are found) In this quest, community members have the opportunity to search for small treasures, and a larger grand prize. During the quest, you may see carolers, food trucks, and possibly even Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Downtown Bellingham Partnership
Announces 2021 Holiday Season Events and Attractions

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) announced plans for its Shine Bright Bham campaign, a combination of district attractions and holiday events and promotions taking place Thanksgiving weekend through the end of December to welcome and celebrate the 2021 holiday season. 

Over 30 storefront windows throughout Downtown will shine bright with festive lighting and creative décor, illuminating street-level spaces and brightening the city center. Participating businesses can be voted as the best in one of three categories: Best Selfie Station, Most Festive Parklet, and Stand Out Design. Voting will be conducted by the public via a poll on the DBP website and through QR Code signage at participating businesses. Voters will be entered to win a free night stay at Downtown’s boutique historic hotel, Hotel Leo.

Think Local First for the Holidays:
Give the Gift of Local This Holiday Season

Join Sustainable Connections as they Think Local First this holiday season, connecting the community with all the incredible small businesses and services that Whatcom County has to offer.  This year has made it clear that supporting local businesses is essential to the health of our economy and community. 

Sustainable Connections will be helping community members support local businesses with Whatcom Think Local First gift cards, Local Gift Guide, Essential Worker gift cards, and Community Events around Whatcom.

42nd Annual Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts

Start this beautiful holiday season off with Allied Arts 42nd Annual Holiday Festival of the Arts. Starring over 100 local artisans and craftspeople presenting their holiday goodies; consisting of one-of-a-kind gifts, specialty food and treats, stunning jewelry, and paintings. It is the perfect way to kick-off the holidays and great fun for everyone!

Bellewood Farms Offering Free Photos with Santa on Weekends

Parents, grandparents, partners, friends, and more are invited to take free photos of their loved ones with Santa during December at Whatcom County’s Bellewood Farms & Distillery!

Gifts made by local residents, daily baked goods, and apples from the recent harvest also are available. Adults wishing to feel a little more jolly may wander over to the distillery’s tasting room and sample the Bellewood Farms Holiday Vodka. Beautiful Firs, Nobles, and Frasers freshly cut from Alpine Meadows Christmas Tree Farm near Deming are available during store hours too.

The Nutcracker Comes To Bellingham

After a 2-year hiatus, Opus Performing Arts returns to the stage this holiday season with “The Nutcracker” at 7:00 p.m. on December 15 & 16 at Mount Baker Theatre.  Audiences are sure to enjoy this classic winter ballet with a unique theatrical twist. “The Nutcracker” will feature OPUS’ younger ballet students as cupcakes, peppermints, gingersnaps, and other denizens of the Kingdom of Sweets, as well as their advanced dancers in the iconic roles of Dewdrop, Nutcracker Prince, Snow Queen, and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Winter Recreation Program Encourages Responsible Snowmobiling

As the snow begins to build in the Washington Cascades range, the State Parks Winter Recreation Program joins members of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association and the snowmobile community nationwide in promoting responsible snowmobile etiquette. The national “Take the Pledge” campaign aims to protect riding areas and trail systems for current and future generations. The campaign also reminds motorized recreationists to respect the landowners who provide access to their properties.

Those who take the pledge agree to the following:

  • I Pledge to ride off trail only where I know it’s legal and accepted.
  • I Pledge to check before going off-trail if I don’t know.
  • I Pledge to protect access for future generations by doing the right thing.
  • I Pledge to protect access by encouraging those I ride with to take the Pledge also.

Chuckanut Brewery Wins Large Brewery at WA Beer Awards 2021

On November 5th the WA Beer Awards announced the winners of the WA Beer Awards competition amongst 142 Washington state breweries. In a blind tasting format over 1,100 beers were evaluated using the Brewers Association Beer Style guidelines and Chuckanut won a total of seven Gold and Silver medals for their lager-style beers.

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth Presents:
Esme’s Adventures in Another World

Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY) presents Esme’s Adventures in Another World. This original production was written, directed, and choreographed by Lisa Markowtiz. It tells the story of a girl named Esme, who keeps all of her thoughts in a duffle bag. Through their adventures, Esme learns the secrets of happiness, dreams, and, most importantly, spaghetti. Esme’s Adventures in Another World features student performers ages 9-12 and runs December 10-12 and 17-19 at the BAAY Theatre.

Visit Bellingham Whatcom County Photo Contest

We have our winners for the last Visit Bellingham Whatcom County photo contest of 2021! Shout out to all the incredible photos we received, we love having the opportunity to see and share the incredible moments that happen when you visit. 

Submissions are now open! Enter your photos of Bellingham and Whatcom County for a chance to win local prizes OR tag your photos on Facebook & Instagram with #BellinghamExperience for a chance to be featured on our page!

🥇1st Place – Enrique Rodriquez with Mount Shuksan in the Winter
🥈2nd Place – Pippa Peterson with Herald Building during April Brews Day
🥉3rd Place – Sharron Hallanger with Summery Mount Shuksan

Want to share your favorite shot? Here’s some text to help you share: ” The PNW!  Head over to Bellingham Experience’s Facebook to vote for your favorite Bellingham Whatcom County shot ” 

The photo contest is our way of sharing visitors’ genuine experiences in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Next time you post on social media, make sure to let your followers know they can share their photos of visiting your business by tagging #BellinghamExperience or through the photo contest! 

Attend Awesome Things!

December 3, 2021 

Downtown Bellingham First Fridays

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
1300 Commercial Street, Bellingham

December 3, 2021 

Holiday Port Festival 2021

2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
355 Harris Avenue, Bellingham

December 3, 2021 

Mount Baker Theatre Lookout Sessions: Trace Bundy

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
104 N Commercial Street, Bellingham

December 3, 2021 & Jan 1, 2022

Bellingham Dockside Market

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Fisherman Pavilion, Squalicum Harbor, Gate 7, Bellingham

December 4, 2021 

Elf on the Shelf

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
517 Front St., Lynden

December 4, 2021 

Holiday Harbor Lights

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
601 Peace Portal Drive, Blaine

December 4, 2021 

Lighted Boat Parade on Bellingham Bay

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
2625 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham

December 4, 2021 

Lynden Lighted Christmas Parade

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 
Front Street, Lynden

Dec 4 – Dec 18, 2021 

Visit Father Christmas

Noon – 3:00 p.m., Every Saturday
1200 10th Street, Bellingham

Dec 4 – Dec 18, 2021 

The Bellingham Farmers Market

10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturdays
Depot Market Square on Saturdays 
Hosted by Bellingham Farmers Market

Dec 4, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022 

Deck the Old City Hall

Noon-5 p.m., Every week on Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun
121 Prospect Street, Bellingham

December 11, 2021 

Downtown Bellingham to Fairhaven Lighted Bike Parade

5:00 p.m.
1100 Railroad Avenue , Bellingham

December 11, 2021 

Holiday Movie White Christmas

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Firehouse Performing Arts Center
1314 Harris Ave, Bellingham
Hosted by Fairhaven Association

December 15, 2021 

The Nutcracker

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
104 North Commercial Street, Bellingham
Hosted by Opus Performing Arts

January 1, 2022

Resolution Run & Padden Polar Dip

11 a.m. – Noon
4882 Samish Way, Bellingham
Hosted by Bellingham Parks & Recreation

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