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On Dec 2-4 the Port of Bellingham celebrates another year of Holiday Port at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal with performances by over 35 local bands, orchestras, choirs and performance groups and includes more than 700 performers. A complete performance schedule is listed below (subject to changes and additions). The festival includes visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, art activities for kids, horse and wagon rides and free photos with winter princesses. Thanks to generous donations by Haggen, Maxum Petroleum, all activities are free. There is an opportunity to purchase photos with Santa.
The Alaska Marine Highway is bringing a little bit of Alaska to Bellingham during the Holiday Port Festival. On Friday, December 2 from 11:00am until 5:00pm, take a tour of the MV Malaspina, the ferry that launched the expansion of the system that now includes service to over 30 Alaska communities.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to take the ferry to Alaska, this is your chance to step aboard and get an inside look at one of the AMHS ferries that departs Bellingham each week. Tour the observation lounges and theatre; get a look inside a couple of different cabin types; walk up to the heated solarium where the heartier camp out for the journey north; and be sure to sign up at the Purser’s desk to take a tour of the bridge.
While you meander through the ship, enjoy cookies prepared by the onboard chefs. If you would like a bit more to eat, purchase lunch in the café; choose from a variety of options including expertly prepared Alaska seafood dishes. Take home some ferry memorabilia and activities for the kids.
Whether you’ve traveled to Alaska before or just want to get a taste of what it’s like onboard, visit us at the Port of Bellingham Ferry Terminal for this special holiday event. If you are not able to take a tour of the MV Malaspina on Friday but would like some information, a representative from the ferry system will be in the terminal all weekend to answer questions about traveling to Alaska and the port communities you can visit along the way.
Be sure to bring photo ID to tour the ship. One of the most beloved aspects of the event is the annual gingerbread contest, with all entries on display at the festival. It’s not too late to enter – the deadline to turn in an entry form is Nov. 29th. Entries don’t have to be made out of gingerbread – just visibly edible. That means graham cracker walls, fences made of pretzel sticks, and other creative uses of food are acceptable – and encouraged! A complete list of contest dates and deadlines are listed below. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three in each category. The top winner in the people’s choice category will be awarded a prize from San Juan Cruises.
The contest is free, and open to bakers of all ages and abilities. Many entrants choose to enter their edible structures in a silent auction that will benefit Home Port Learning Center a transitional alternative school for at-risk youth of Whatcom County. The contest has an optional themed category, “Northwest Adventure” for a total of 10 divisions. More information and a link to the online entry form can be found at: www.portofbellingham.com/holidayport
21st Annual Gingerbread Contest Dates and Deadlines:Deadline to Turn in Entry Form: Tuesday, Nov. 29Date to Deliver Your Edible Structure: Wednesday, Nov. 30All Entries are on Display at Holiday Port Friday-Sunday Dec. 2-4
26th Annual Holiday Port Festival Dates and Times:Friday Dec. 2: Noon – 8 pm Saturday Dec. 3: 11 am – 5 pm Sunday Dec. 4: 11 am – 5 pm
Holiday Port Festival Schedule:Friday, Dec. 211:00 am - 5:00 pm Alaska Ferry Tours – Please bring ID to tour the ferry12:00 pm - 8:00 pm Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display, Gingerbread Silent Auction for Home Port Learning Center, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen4:00 - 8:00 pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, with the option of purchasing photos from Turner Photographics 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Visits with Winter Princesses6:00 pm Alaska Ferry Send Off
Performance Schedule12:00 pm-12:50 pm Mt. Baker High School and Nooksack Valley High School12:00 pm-12:30 pm Mt. Baker Blendz and Mt. Baker Junior High 8th Grade Choir1:00 pm -1:20 pm Blaine High School Chamber Choir 2:00 pm -2:20 pm Meridian Middle School Jazz Band2:30 pm - 2:55 pm Sehome Chamber Orchestra3:15 pm - 3:35 pm Meridian Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Choir4:00 pm - 4:50 pm Squalicum HS Chamber Orchestra4:00 pm - 4:50 pm King Singers and King Consort5:00 pm - 5:25 pm Roosevelt Elementary Choir5:30 pm - 5:50 pm Bellingham High School Showstoppers6:00 pm - 6:25 pm Bellingham Damakor6:00 pm - 6:50 pm Heroes6:30 pm - 6:50 pm Bellingham Community Chorus7:00 pm - 7:50 pm Squalicum High School Concert Orchestra7:00 pm - 7:20 pm Parkview Panda Singers 7:40 pm - 8:00 pm Ferndale HS Swing Choir
Saturday, Dec. 311:00 am – 5:00 pm Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display, Food Drive, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen11:00 am - 2:00 pm Tractor Wagon Rides with Cramer Classics Wagon Rides12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Kids Art Activities with Allied Arts of Whatcom County 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Visits with Winter Princesses1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, with the option of purchasing photos from Turner Photographics4:30 pm - 6:20 pm *Lighted boat parade put on by the Bellingham Yacht Club. The boat parade route goes from Squalicum Harbor to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. *Times listed here are estimates only. Boats will leave Squalicum Harbor at 4 pm. Bad weather will cancel the boat parade.
Performance Schedule9:00 am Tuba Christmas rehearsal11:00 am -11:20 am Mount Baker Blendz11:00 am - 11:20 am Tuba Christmas11:30 am - 12:00 pm Squalicum HS Chamber Orchestra11:30 am - 11:50 am Blaine High School Brass Ensemble12:00 pm -12:20 pm Reserve for Bellingham Bay Gymnastics to warm up12:00 pm - 12:50 pm Bellingham Bay Gymnastics1:30 pm - 1:50 pm Squalicum High School Jazz Band1:30 pm - 1:50 pm Sehome Chamber Choir2:00 pm - 2:50 pm Squalicum High School Storm Singers2:00 pm - 2:50 pm Kulshan Middle School 3:00 pm - 3:50 pm Boundary Bay Brass Quintet4:00 pm - 4:50 pm Kid'Sax Ensemble4:30 pm -4:50 pm Music Studio of Jane Perkins
Sunday, Dec. 411:00 am - 5:00 pm Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display, Food Drive for Bellingham Food Bank, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen11:00 am - 4:30 pm Gingerbread Silent Auction for Home Port Learning Center1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Horse-drawn Wagon Rides with Cramer Classics Wagon Rides12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Kids Art Activities with Allied Arts of Whatcom County 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Visits with Winter Princesses by Simply Magical Parties1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, with the option to purchase photos from Turner Photographics4:00 pm Gingerbread House Silent Auction Closes. Winners will be called using the phone number provided on the auction sheet. Gingerbread winners may pick up houses from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Sunday, Dec. 6, and Monday, Dec. 7 through Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 9 am - 4:00 pm. Port staff will be on site to coordinate payment and pick up. If your gingerbread creation is NOT in the silent auction, you may pick it up any time after 4:00 pm on Sunday. All houses not picked up by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, Dec. 9 will be discarded or donated. Performance Schedule11:00 am - 11:50 am Bellingham youth Jazz Band11:00 am - 11:50 am Bellingham Alumni Band12:00 pm - 12:50 pm Dancing for Joy1:00 pm - 1:20 pm Ferndale Dance1:30 pm - 1:50 pm Christmas Songsters2:00 pm - 2:20 pm Eagleridge elementary School Choir2:00 pm - 2:50 pm Con Spirito Brass Quintet2:30 pm - 2:50 pm Fairhaven Middle School Choir3:00 pm - 4:50 pm Marimba Christmas3:00 pm - 3:50 pm Evergreen Music Studios4:00 pm - 4:20 pm Whatcom Horns