Monday, June 19th, 2017
4th of July Activities in Bellingham and Whatcom County
Annette Bagley

Put on your red, white and blue and prepare to be festive. 4th of July in Bellingham and surrounding communities is packed with fun things to do. View parades, classic cars, tandem bikes, and fireworks by land and sea. Enjoy old-time games, outdoor music, craft beer, and delicious BBQ while you celebrate Independence Day in style.


4th of July in Blaine

On the U.S. border, Blaine’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration is a salute to hometown Americana. Festivities take place on the streets of downtown Blaine, including:

  • a pancake breakfast (8 – 11 a.m.),
  • a classic car show and shine (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.),
  • street fair with live music, food and craft vendors (10 a.m.- 5 p.m.),
  • a parade through downtown on Peace Portal Drive (noon – 1:30 p.m.),
  • Historic Plover foot-ferry rides on Drayton Harbor (noon – 8 p.m.),
  • Fireworks over Drayton Harbor at dusk (about 10:15 p.m.)

4th of july in Blaine

As a special treat this year, the Bensen High School Marching Band from Minnesota will also march in the Blaine 4th of July Parade. For some of the 60 students participating it will be their first time visiting the west coast. Be sure to cheer them on with a warm welcome!


Bellingham’s traditional event is the Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration, which takes place at Zuanich Point Park, surrounded by water on three sides, with incredible views of Bellingham Bay and the city. The main attraction is an all ages Hoop It Up 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The fun is provided by Haggen Northwest Fresh, Bellingham/Whatcom County Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Port of Bellingham. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. and continue all day, including:

  • 3-on-3 basketball tournament (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • old-fashioned games (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • vendor booths (11 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • live music (11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • beer garden (2 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
  • fireworks over the bay after the sun sets, (about 10:30 p.m.)

4th of July Fireworks / Credit: Peter James Photography

New this year, the Port of Bellingham will also open the Downtown Waterfront (former Georgia Pacific site) for pedestrian viewing of the fireworks over Bellingham Bay. Parking will be available along Cornwall Avenue and spectators will need to walk approximately one-quarter mile down West Laurel Street to access a paved, outdoor viewing area located along the shoreline.  The West Laurel Street entrance will open at 8 p.m., with the fireworks starting around 10:30 p.m. There will be no vehicle access or parking inside the former Georgia-Pacific site.  Volunteers in reflective vests will help direct people to the viewing area. Spectators are welcome to bring coolers, food, non-alcoholic drinks and lawn chairs to the event. No pets, alcohol or personal fireworks are allowed.  Porta-Potties, trash, and recycling bins will be provided.

Some of the best seats for viewing fireworks are actually on the water. Fourth of July Dinner Cruises are offered by the Schooner Zodiac and San Juan Cruises. Both trips will end with fireworks viewing in Bellingham Bay.

Hotel Bellwether will host its Blues, Brews and BBQ on its waterfront terrace July 4. Leading up to the Bellingham Bay fireworks show, the Lighthouse Bar & Grill will host a barbeque from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the talented Atlantics will provide live music from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. There is no cover charge, but seating is limited for the event. The menu includes Cedar Plank Salmon, Bavarian Beer Brats, Paella and St. Louis Spare Ribs.  Come early to get a great spot for fireworks viewing at 10:30 p.m.


Beer lovers should also note that Overflow Taps in Lynden will host an all day BBQ and Truck Meet on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a BBQ cook-off and live music and outdoor beer garden.

For more ideas see our online events calendar.

Have fun. And be safe!

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About the Author:

Annette Bagley is the Director of Marketing for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism. As a writer and media relations consultant, her work has appeared in local and national media. She has been enjoying life in the Bellingham and Whatcom County region for more than a decade. Her ideal escapes include water, mountains, a farm visit, or a history lesson, accompanied by good food and a glass of wine.

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