April 30, 2021

Lindsey Payne Johnstone, Program Director
Downtown Bellingham Partnership

Downtown Bellingham Partnership Announces “First Fridays”

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership has announced details for First Fridays, an expansion of the well-established monthly Art Walk program. As the name suggests, event celebrations occur on the first Friday of every month from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at participating venues in Downtown Bellingham. The new event format provides opportunities for all businesses to participate, regardless of whether they're hosting a featured artist or not. Participating businesses will be highlighted as an Art Walk Venue or under broader categories like “Shop Local," dining, one-time events, and more.  

September 2019 Art Walk

“First Fridays will provide a holistic opportunity for the community to engage with the city center, at a safe distance, while supporting independent businesses, our artist community, and cultural resources,” Lindsey Payne Johnstone, Program Director for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, said. “We are grateful that we can leverage a successful, established program like Art Walk to promote and support the neighborhood as we march forward with recovery and looking ahead.”

Each month will feature fresh programming ranging from pop-up activities like the Rebel Artist of Whatcom markets in the Commercial Street Plaza, enticing food and drink specials, art installations, live projections, and a seasonal busking program.

“I'm grateful for the responsibility entrusted in me by Allied Arts of Whatcom County and Downtown Bellingham Partnership to curate a diverse series of raw and rare acoustic performances highlighting the creative genius of our shared scene,” Pace Rubadeau, locally acclaimed trumpeter, said. “While these shows will be free to the public, contributors are being paid handsomely thanks to a generous grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation who appreciate live entertainment should be better financially supported now that we know how life sounds without it.”

The artist lineup includes a variety of beloved local performers: 

Pete Irving and Ani Banani (Hot Damn Scandal/Best Intentions); Peter Ali (Native American Flutist); Robert Lashley (Poet Laureate)

Lucas Warford (Three for Silver); Cayley and Clea (Giant's Causeway/Wandering Seas); David Donohue (Singer/Songwriter)

Robert Sarazin Blake (Curator of Subdued Stringband Jamboree); Zach Zenovic and Michael Paul-Gurule (Nuages and Manouche N.W.); Lola Russo, Pearl Petaia, Moira Petaia (Three Little Birds/Harmonizing Covers)

Steve Itterly (Folk/Blues via Vashon Island); Strangely (Vaudeville/Storyteller); Louis Ledford (Roots/Americana)

Sofie Mae (Early Jazz/Blues via Seattle); Kurt Bello (Pop/Soul); Mostafa (Hip Hop/Spoken Word)

Performance locations will be announced monthly on the digital event map at and through DBP’s social media pages @downtownbham on Instagram and @DowntownBellinghamWA on Facebook.

First Fridays are supported by Unity Care NW, the Whatcom Community Foundation, and Allied Arts of Whatcom County. “Unity Care NW knows healthy communities are connected communities,” Chris Kobdish, Director of Planning & Development, Unity Care NW, said. “We’re thrilled to support First Fridays and Art Walk for the enrichment opportunities they provide our friends and neighbors in downtown Bellingham,”

        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

Places to Stay
Getting Here
Read Blogs

Photo Contest
Move Here
Contact Us
Tourism Talk

Industry Resources
Join as a Member
Media Inquiries
Host Groups & Events
About Us
Site by Drozian Webworks
©2023 Visit Bellingham Whatcom County