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.
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.
The Nutcracker by Opus Performing Arts at Mount Baker Theatre, December 18-19 2019
OPUS Performing Arts and Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY) have teamed up to present a fun rendition of The Nutcracker at Mount Baker Theatre. 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, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. OPUS adult ballet students will also perform in supporting roles throughout the evening. BAAY performers ages 9-16 will be showcased as the infamous rat army, manipulators of large-scale puppets, and in choral interludes. Tickets are $20 general and $12 for kids age 12 and younger. Performances are held at the Mount Baker Theatre at 7 p.m.. Tickets are $10-$35.
Holiday Port Celebration, Dec. 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.
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.
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.
Here’s a link to our updated 2019 list of holiday bazaars, craft shows and shopping events in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
Home for the Holidays, November 21 – 23 2019
This annual shopping event promises a fabulous selection of seasonal creations to trim your “Home for the Holidays.” Distinctive gift items, a few shabby antiques and delightfully delicious gourmet foods. The vendors who participate have been hand-picked for their very special creativity
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.
New Year’s Eve
Annual Ring of Fire and Hope, Dec. 31, 2019, 7 p.m.
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 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.