When the sun starts to set a little earlier, and the year starts to come to a close, Whatcom County lights up with festivities, in true northern style. Here is a 2019 list of must-see holiday events in Bellingham, Blaine, Birch Bay, Ferndale and Lynden. Bring your camera to capture photos of Santa! Then continue the fun on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Fairhaven Winterfest, November 29 – December 7 2019
Festivities begin the Friday evening after Thanksgiving in the Fairhaven Historic District, with the arrival of Father Christmas. Fairhaven Winterfest continues on Sat., December 7th and each Saturday leading up to Christmas with horse-drawn wagon rides through the district, visits with Santa, Holiday Market and special lighting of the district in thousands of glittering orbs.
Christmas Festival at Bellewood Farms, December 7 – 22 2019
Christmas is always a festive time at Bellewood Farms! Take a free photo with the real Santa, live music, horse-drawn sleigh-rides, caroling, bonfires, smores, hot apple cider and much more. Christmas Festival is on Saturday and Sundays only.
The Nutcracker by Opus Performing Arts at Mount Baker Theatre, December 18-19 2019
OPUS Performing Arts is proud to present The Nutcracker in collaboration with Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY) on December 18-19. Audiences will enjoy this classic winter ballet with a unique theatrical twist. The Nutcracker features OPUS’ younger ballet students as cupcakes, peppermints, gingersnaps and other denizens of the Kingdom of Sweets, as well as their advanced dancers in the classic roles of Nutcracker Prince, Peacock and the Sugar Plum Fairy. BAAY performers ages 8-16 will be showcased as the infamous rat army and manipulators of large scale puppets. This exciting performance will include many new surprises in addition to the wonderful choreography, costumes, and sets from last year’s premier. It is guaranteed to delight viewers of all ages! For tickets and more information, visit mountbakertheatre.com.
“This is a truly unique approach to The Nutcracker for our Bellingham audience. We lead our students in discovering new, collaborative tools through the process and ultimately deliver an unforgettable rendition of a classic tale.” – Ian Bivins, Executive Director, BAAY
A Christmas Carol, December 22 2019
This new adaptation of Dickens’ classic fills the stage with first-class professional actors, lush costumes, stunning sets, and a heavy dose of humor. Enjoy 26 traditional carols woven throughout for the perfect path to holiday joy! Show is Sunday, December 22 at 3 p.m. at the Mount Baker Theatre.
Allied Arts Holiday Festival of Arts, November 24 – December 24 2019
Featuring over 100 local artisans and craftspeople showcasing their holiday goods, including one-of-a-kind gifts, specialty foods, jewelry, and paintings. It’s a perfect way to get ready for the holidays and great fun for everyone. Fill your weekend with live local music, artist demos, and workshops. Bring the kids in for free fun family art projects.
New Year’s Eve
Annual Ring of Fire and Hope, Dec. 31 2019
Revelers ringing in the new year start with lighting road flares along the Birch Bay shoreline. Anyone can participate. This is a spectacular sight as the bay becomes a ring of fire, signifying hope for the coming year. For a small donation, flares are usually available at the Birch Bay Visitor’s Center.
New Years Eve Bash at Boundary Bay, December 31 2019
Ring in the new year with line dancing, BBQ and beer at Boundary Bay in Downtown Bellingham. The tap room will be transformed into a line dancing hall at 9 p.m. with the Char of Lynden Line Dancers leading the festivities.
Bellingham Firefighters NYE Community Ball, December 31 2019
On December 31st, put on your New Years’ best and celebrate in style with a Roaring 20’s theme in the Crystal Ballroom of the newly restored Hotel Leo in the heart of downtown Bellingham! We pulled out all the stops with live electro-swing by Portland’s Sepiatonic, Aerial Acrobatics by the Bellingham Circus Guild, and a late-night Dance Party emceed by DJ Dylan Ostrander.
NYE Bash & Oyster Pop-Up with Paellaworks, December 31 2019
Celebrate the 2010s in style with Knut of Paellaworks who will be serving up delicious oysters at Thousand Acres Cider House. They will be celebrating East Coast style with toasts at 9 p.m.
New Years Eve Speakeasy Party, December 31 2019
Join Stemma Brewing for a party to kick off the 2020’s in true 20’s Gatsby Fashion! Stemma will have dancing, snacks, a photo booth (camera not provided), and a costume contest.
Each ticket will include two 0.5 liter pours, snacks, and a fun surprise beverage to toast at midnight. Dress in your best 1920’s attire (remember, there’s a costume contest!).
Here’s a link to our updated 2019 list of holiday bazaars, craft shows and shopping events in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
New Year’s Day
Polar Bear Plunge at Birch Bay, Jan. 1, 2020
This local tradition has been ongoing since 1982 and has become an international destination on New Year’s Day. Be sure to bring towels, a blanket and an extra set of warm clothes! More details here.
Claire vg Thomas Theatre presents Narnia, November 29 – December 15 2019
The first and most famous story of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis comes to Lynden in a musical presentation that is just as unique and enchanting as the book. The Claire vg Thomas Theatre is located at 655 Front Street in Lynden (inside the Lynden Dutch Mall.) Performances are Friday – Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $12, and $14.
Deck the Old City Hall, Whatcom Museum, November 29 – December 12 2019
The holiday spirit will be brought to life as the Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall building is decorated with garlands, wreaths, and sparkling lights, and features more than 20 themed, decorated trees.
Olde Fashioned Christmas in Ferndale, December 6 – December 8 2019
Bring your camera, and step back in time this holiday season at the Olde Fashioned Christmas celebration in the historic cedar log cabins of Pioneer Park. Each of the 12 cabins is decorated in a special theme to welcome visitors. The event includes hands-on crafts for children, old fashioned games, music and a working general store to purchase old fashioned Christmas gifts. Costumed hosts greet you in each cabin, and the smell of home-style baking, set the mood for the Christmas season.
Northwest Lighted Christmas Parade, December 7 2019
Welcome in the Holiday Season with the Northwest Lighted Christmas Parade in Lynden! Starting at 6 pm.,spend some time with friends, family and loved ones as a lighted menagerie of cars, pick-ups, trucks, floats, wagons, farm equipment, and more! Starting at the Fairway Shopping Center at Front Street and 17th, heading east on Front St. to 3rd and Front in downtown.
Downtown Holiday Festival, December 7 2019
Formerly known as the Tree Lighting Ceremony, this expanded and re-imagined gathering will feature a variety of attractions, including a new, sustainable, 28-ft holiday tree gifted by the City of Bellingham! Other festivities include the lighting of the tree with Mayor Kelli Linville, a Bellingham Handmade artisan market, photo opportunities with Santa, hot cocoa, cider & cookies provided by Woods Coffee, a 21+ bevy garden featuring Boundary Bay Brewery and Chuckanut Bay Distillery, food trucks, take-and-make craft tables with Gabriels Art Kids, dance performances by students at Harper&I Dance Center, caroling with The Mount Baker Toppers and more!
Swing Christmas Carols, December 7 2019
Swing Connection, Bellingham’s community big band, will hold its annual Christmas concert on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 7 – 9 p.m. The event is free (with a suggested donation of $10) and fun for the whole family.
A Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse, December 14 2019
SeaMuse are four friends – Stanley Greenthal, Christos Govetas, Kip Greenthal, and Kim Goldov – who love to share their original compositions and traditional music from a variety of regions of Greece, Turkey, the Balkans, as well as songs and instrumentals from Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland.
An annual tradition, SeaMuse’s Winter Solstice Concert features songs about love, the challenges of our times, and memories from life – a perfect way to celebrate the solstice before ringing in the new year. Plus, SeaMuse will have their new first recording, Solstice Fire, in hand for the concert!
Holiday Port Celebration, December 6 – 8 2019
The Holiday Port Celebration features an incredible Gingerbread House (and gingerbread everything) Competition, sponsored by the Port of Bellingham. Come see holiday creativity at its finest. The fun also includes performances from local bands, choirs, and dance troupes, along with a horse-drawn wagon and tractor wagon rides, art activities for children and photos with Santa Claus.
Holiday Harbor Lights, December 7-8 2019
Kick off the holiday season in Blaine By The Sea! Holiday Harbor Lights includes a tree lighting, caroling, a visit with Santa, the Great Used Book Sale at the library, a holiday bazaar, art show, petting zoo and free rides on a horse drawn trolley.
Elf on the Shelve Scavenger Hunt, December 7 2019
The Elf On The Shelve Has Returned! Stop by downtown Lynden and find the twelve elves in businesses downtown, and your name may be drawn to win a prize package worth over $600.
O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy, December 11 2019
Following the smashing success of their 2016 and 2017 North American comedy tours, London’s 3-time Impresario award-winning comedians James & Jamesy return with their outrageously funny and brilliantly inventive Christmas comedy O Christmas Tea. Show is Wednesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Baker Theatre.