November 4, 2022

Stephanie Wiley
Port of Bellingham
(360) 676-2500

31st Annual Holiday Port Festival Brings Back Santa and the Gingerbread Contest

On Dec. 3-4 The Port of Bellingham celebrates another year of Holiday Port at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal with performances by over 30 local bands, orchestras, choirs and performance groups and includes more than 700 performers. The festival includes visits and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Port Fairhaven Fish & Chips will be open with food for purchase.

One of the most beloved aspects of the event is the annual gingerbread contest, with all entries on display at the festival. It’s not too late to enter – the deadline to turn in an entry form is Nov. 23rd. 

Entries don’t have to be made out of gingerbread – just visibly edible. That means graham cracker walls, fences made of pretzel sticks, and other creative uses of food are acceptable – and encouraged! A complete list of contest dates and deadlines are listed below. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three in each category. The People’s Choice voting will be open throughout the festival, and the winner will get two whale watching cruise tickets from our sponsor, San Juan Cruises!

The contest is free, and open to bakers of all ages and abilities. Many entrants choose to enter their edible structures in a silent auction that will benefit a local charity. The contest has an optional themed category, “Holiday Magic” for a total of 10 divisions. More information and a link to the online entry form can be found at:

31st Annual Gingerbread Contest Dates and Deadlines: 

Deadline to Turn in Entry Form: Wednesday, Nov. 23rd 

Date to Deliver Your Edible Structure: Wednesday, Nov. 30th 

All Entries are on Display at Holiday Port Saturday-Sunday Dec. 3-4

31st Annual Holiday Port Festival Dates and Times:

Saturday Dec. 3: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Sunday Dec. 4: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Holiday Port Festival Schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 3

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display, Gingerbread Silent Auction

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Visit and photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus 

5:30 - 6:20 p.m.* Lighted boat parade put on by the Bellingham Yacht Club. The boat parade route goes from Squalicum Harbor to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. 

*Times listed here are estimates only. Boats will leave Squalicum Harbor at 5 p.m. Bad weather will cancel the boat parade.

Performance Schedule TBD check website and FB event page

Sunday, Dec. 4

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Gingerbread Silent Auction 

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus 

2:00 p.m. Gingerbread House Silent Auction Closes. Winners will be called using the phone number provided on the auction sheet. Gingerbread winners may pick up houses Sunday from 3-4 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 5, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Port staff will be on site to coordinate payment and pick up. If your gingerbread creation is NOT in the silent auction, you may pick it up any time after 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. All houses not picked up by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 will be discarded or donated.

Performance Schedule TBD check website and FB event page

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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