Whatcom Center for Early Learning will present the 1st annual Bacon & Kegs Festival at the Depot Market Square on Sunday, August 26. The festival will feature beer and cider from PNW breweries, bacon-inspired foods from local vendors and live music from Baby Cakes, Lost at Last and Lindsay Street.

Wondering how to hold onto summer a little longer? We’ve got the answer – BellingHam’s next great festival, BACON & KEGS – a celebration of bacon, brews and music to benefit Whatcom Center for Early Learning. Held at the Depot Market Square on Sunday, August 26, 2018, the event features two sessions. The mid-day, all ages session from 11:00am-3:30pm will include a photo booth, games and activities (including a Pig-Out tournament), and live music by Lindsay Street (whimsical folk-roots music from around the globe) and Lost at Last (a 6 piece band specializing in country, rock and island music).

The evening session (21 and over) will be from 5:30-9:00pm, and will feature live music by Baby Cakes (classic funk, soul and R&B in addition to original tunes). Both sessions will offer craft beers and ciders from local and PNW breweries with a commemorative cup for 21 and over ticket holders and an array of bacon-inspired items from local food trucks and restaurants for purchase. VIP ticket holders receive exclusive access to the evening session an hour before general admission, additional tasting tickets and a VIP-only lounge located near the stage.

Tickets are on sale now through Whatcom Center for Early Learning’s website: http://www.wcel.net. Tickets for the mid-day session are $18 ($30 VIP) or $5 for kids/non-drinking adults. Tickets for the evening session are $25 ($40 VIP). Sponsored by “The Psyden Team” at Calibur Home Loans, and Hempler’s! Volunteer opportunities are also available through the website.

Whatcom Center for Early Learning provides early intervention services to infants and toddlers from birth to three years old with developmental delays and disabilities. The services are provided in family homes and community settings such as library story time or at the playground, places where children regularly spend their time and are most comfortable. The staff of Speech-Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Early Childhood Specialists provide developmental support around feeding, motor, communication and behavior challenges by teaming with families and caregivers to identify the immediate needs and create goals for the individual child. Each family is paired with a Family Resources Coordinator who can connect them with a variety of services in the community, including basic needs such as housing and food or more general needs such as care coordination and advocacy skills. Additionally, classroom programs are offered to early intervention participants as well as the general public through a partnership with Bellingham Parks & Recreation.

Services are low to no cost for families and research shows a lasting impact is made with early intervention. “We hear from families everyday who have had their lives changed through these programs,” said Mark Moder, Executive Director. “Some children come in needing just a small boost to get their development back on track. Others have diagnoses such as autism or Down Syndrome that are the beginning of a journey for the child and family. We are here to provide support. We never turn a family away for an inability to pay, and over 35% of the toddlers who exit our programs have caught up to their typically developing peers and do not need additional services. Whatcom Center wouldn’t be able to provide the variety of high quality programs to our community without the fundraising support offered by events like Bacon & Kegs.”

Whatcom Center for Early Learning has been providing services to Whatcom County for 45 years. Started by Public Health Nurse Anne Brown in the late 1960’s, the Center officially incorporated as a 501c(3) nonprofit in 1991. WCEL has doubled it’s staffing in the last two years to meet the needs of our community. For more information, contact Erin Malone (Outreach & Development Director) at erinm@wcel.net or (360) 671-3660 x 100. To make a referral to early intervention services, call the Single Entry Access to Services (SEAS) line at (360) 715-7485.