November 16, 2021

Lindsey Payne Johnstone
Downtown Bellingham Partnership
(360) 527-8710

Downtown Bellingham Partnership Announces 2021 Holiday Season Events and Attractions

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP) announced plans today for its Shine Bright Bham campaign, a combination of district attractions and holiday events and promotions taking place Thanksgiving weekend through the end of December to welcome and celebrate the 2021 holiday season. 

 “We’re eager to collaborate with businesses and community partners to make Downtown Bellingham a welcoming destination for holiday spirit and spending,” says DBP Program Director, Lindsey Payne Johnstone.  

Starting Thanksgiving weekend, over 30 storefront windows throughout Downtown will shine bright with festive lighting and creative décor, illuminating street level spaces and brightening the city center. Participating businesses can be voted as the best in one of three categories: Best Selfie Station, Most Festive Parklet, and Stand Out Design. Voting will be conducted by the public via a poll on the DBP website and through QR Code signage at participating businesses. Voters will be entered to win a free night stay at Downtown’s boutique historic hotel, Hotel Leo.  

Families will also be encouraged to look out for Twinkle, Downtown’s Holiday Hamster. Every Twinkle Tuesday beginning November 30, Twinkle will hide within one of the participating business window displays. On DBP’s Instagram, there will be weekly clues to Twinkle’s whereabouts. When Twinkle is spotted, the public is invited to post a photo to Facebook and Instagram tagging #ShineBrightBham to enter to win a free pint of Mallard Ice Cream each week.  

Shop Small Saturday also takes place over Thanksgiving weekend on November 27th. The annual promotion encourages people to go big by shopping small at independently-owned businesses. Shoppers can look forward to discounts and specials at Downtown’s favorite shops, boutiques, salons, and restaurants.  

Celebrations will continue into December with the jovial First Friday Art Walk on Friday, December 3 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm and the popular Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Depot Market Square on Saturday, December 4. The lighting of the tree and accompanied activities will take place around 5:30 pm.  

Shine Bright Bham rides on with a Downtown - Fairhaven Lighted Bike Parade on Saturday, December 11. The community is invited to adorn their bodies and bikes with lights and pedal on the South Bay Trail between the two neighborhoods. Participants will gather at either Fairhaven Village Green or the Depot Market Square at 5:00 pm, with the parades beginning at 5:30 pm. Hot chocolate and cider and cookies will be available for parade-goers, who are invited to do as much of the parade route as they like.  

Downtown’s Santa Saturday takes place on December 18 in Boundary Bay’s outdoor ‘Candy Cane Lane’ adjacent to their beer garden. From 1:00 - 4:00 pm, families can visit with Santa and children can bring their pre-written letters to put in Santa’s mailbox. Face coverings required for a picture on Santa’s lap.  

Other promotions include the DBP’s Holiday Happenings online calendar featuring community events and promotions taking place in Downtown throughout the holidays. The DBP is keeping its Downtown Online Marketplace updated with curated gift-giving ideas from many of Downtown’s shops, boutiques, and restaurants.  

Support for Shine Bright Bham comes from Puget Sound Energy, Greenhouse, Hotel Leo, and Mallard.  

“PSE is proud to help Bellingham shine this holiday season and support our small business community. After another year of adapting to changing circumstances, local business owners have worked hard to keep the lights on and continue to serve our community—let’s celebrate the brightness together!,” shared Liz Purdy, Sr. Community Engagement Representative at PSE. 

More information on these Shine Bright activities and events can be found at  

        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.
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