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On Dec. 7-9, the Port celebrates the 28th year of Holiday Port at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal with performances by over 35 local bands, orchestras, choirs and performance groups with more than 700 performers. 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 and BP, all activities are free. Streat Food café will be open with food for purchase and Sugar and Spice food truck will have sweet treats for purchase.
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. 28th. 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 Toys for Tots The contest has an optional themed category, “Home Sweet Home” for a total of 10 divisions. More information and a link to the online entry form can be found at: www.portofbellingham.com/holidayport
Annual Gingerbread Contest Dates and Deadlines:Deadline to Turn in Entry Form: Monday, Nov. 28thDate to Deliver Your Edible Structure: Wednesday, Dec. 5thAll Entries are on Display at Holiday Port Friday-Sunday Dec. 7-9
Annual Holiday Port Festival Dates and Times:Friday Dec. 7: Noon – 8 p.m.Saturday Dec. 8: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.Sunday Dec. 9: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m
Holiday Port Festival Schedule:
Friday, Dec. 7
12:00 - 8:00pm Music & Dance Performances, Gingerbread House Display, Gingerbread display and Silent Auction for Toys for Tots, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen
4:00 - 8:00pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus
6:00pm Alaska Ferry Send Off
Saturday, Dec. 8
11:00am – 5:00pm Music & Dance Performances, Free face painting and balloon fairies, Gingerbread House Display, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen 11:00am - 2:00pm Tractor Wagon Rides with Cramer Classics Wagon Rides11:00pm - 5:00pm Kids Art Activities with Allied Arts of Whatcom County
noon – 3:00pm Visits with Winter Princesses1:00pm - 5:00pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus
Sunday, Dec. 9
11:00am - 5:00pm Music & Dance Performances, Free face painting and balloon fairies, Gingerbread House Display, free cider and cookies donated by Haggen11:00am – 2:00pm Gingerbread Silent Auction for Toys for Tots1:00am - 4:00pm Tractor Wagon Rides with Cramer Classics Wagon Rides11:00pm - 5:00pm Kids Art Activities with Allied Arts of Whatcom County
noon – 3:00pm Visit with Winter Princesses1:00pm - 5:00pm Visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus
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 - 5:00 pm Sunday, Dec. 9, and Monday, Dec. 10 through Tuesday, Dec. 11 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 Tuesday Dec. 11 will be discarded or donated.