The 6th annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on tap to be better than ever. This Saturday, March 14, everyone is encouraged to join in the fun by watching or participating in the Parade, with Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Newbold as the Grand Marshal.
It’s easy to participate; just show up and line up. Families, marching bands, neighborhood associations, schools, music groups, dancers, local businesses and anyone else who wants to march in the Parade are asked to gather at the corner of Ohio and Cornwall starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Senior Center will be selling breakfast sandwiches to raise money for the Meals on Wheels program, so show up hungry and help feed a good cause.
The Parade will begin at noon.
Parade Day volunteers are needed to help move street barricades. If interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. (No parking will be allowed on the Parade route from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Thanks to fundraising efforts spearheaded by founder and committee chair Janet Lightner and Casey Diggs, both of Boundary Bay Brewery, the Parade is now self sustaining, so the show will go on! The other big news is that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is now an official 501(c)(3) organization.
This non-profit, community-wide event honors local law enforcement and public safety personnel by celebrating and inspiring sustainability in the hope of making our city a cleaner, greener, safer place to call home. Of course, it also celebrates St. Patrick’s Day!
“The Bellingham Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is a great opportunity for the citizens of Whatcom County to get outdoors, rain or shine, and to thank our public safety personnel who are here for us 365 days a year, rain or shine,” says Lightner.
Also new this year: Roughly 25 downtown businesses are participating in the 1st annual Window Decorating Contest, so be sure to check out their displays.
After the Parade, hit the Tap Trail in search of beers to pair with the festivities. Head for a red, such as Boundary Bay’s Irish-style Red Ale, Kulshan Brewing’s Red Cap Irish-style Red Ale or Aslan Brewing’s Northwest Red Ale. Or go the stout route, with Boundary Bay’s Dry Irish Stout, Wander’s Correspondent Foreign Extra Stout or Chuckanut’s recently released Stout (see below).
Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on two days this year – March 14 and 17.
After marching in the Parade, Chuckanut will host the Eagle’s Whistle Irish band and have an Irish-inspired locavore menu featuring a special Irish stout beef stew and a house-made Irish dinner pizza (for the entire month of March).
Festivities at Chuckanut will continue on Tuesday, March 17, at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by Puirt Na Gael, a group of musicians who play Celtic and Irish music.
Chuckanut’s recently released stout is just in time for the festivities. “Chuckanut Stout is a dark brown beer that is a direct descendant of Porter and has an espresso-like bite from the use of roasted barley,” says Chuckanut co-owner Mari Kemper. “With its lighter body and lower alcohol content than the Export style, it has a clean and very smooth finish. And don’t forget, on this holiday weekend the leprechauns are sure to get into our Kolsch and turn it green just for fun!”
Remember: It’s St. Patrick’s Day, St. Pat’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day, but never St. Patty’s Day!
For more information, visit www.stpatsbham.com. (Photos courtesy of Kate Rosengren & Kyle Schaeffer.)