By Steve Guntli
Blaine and Birch Bay come alive this weekend, as several beloved local institutions open up for the summer season.
The C Shop
The C Shop, one of Birch Bay’s oldest businesses, has been open on weekends since May 8, and will start daily summer hours on June 19. The combination candy store, café and pizzeria has been owned and operated by Patrick and Patricia Alesse and their family since 1971.
Birch Bay Waterslides:
One of Birch Bay’s most popular summertime attractions is opening for business this weekend. Birch Bay Waterslides will open its season on May 23 and 24 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. The slides will be closed on Memorial Day, May 25. The Waterslides will be open Saturdays and Sundays until June 14. Open daily on June 20.
Visitors can get wet and wild on one of the park’s four main slides, or enjoy a relaxing day in the sun in the activity pools or hot tub. Presale tickets are available at birchbaywaterslides.net.
Alaska Packer’s Association Museum:
The Alaska Packer’s Association (APA) Museum begins its summer season this weekend. The APA Museum celebrates the rich history of the fishing industry in Blaine, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo. The small museum is packed with historic artifacts, like tools, canned goods and even a sailboat.
The museum is open Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. through September. Admission is free but donations are always welcome. For more information, contact APA Museum Coordinator Sunny Brown at 371-3558.
Blaine’s historic Plover ferry will begin taking trips out into the harbor from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. The ferry has been in service since the 1940s, when it was used to shuttle cannery workers back and forth from Blaine to Semiahmoo spit.
The Plover makes trips on the hour Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Passage on the Plover is $5 for adults, $1 for kids 12-16 and free for kids under 12. Visit draytonharbormaritime.org for a detailed history on the ferry.
The Blaine Gardener’s Market is opening for business this Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market specializes in fresh local produce and handcrafted goods. The market runs every Saturday through October.
Ron Snyder, manager of the Gardener’s Market, is marking the occasion with the sixth annual International Slug Races. Starting at noon, a group of dedicated athletes (slugs) will race towards a leaf of lettuce. Bring your own slug or enter one from the event’s stable of racers to win prizes from Totally Chocolate.
This post was updated to correct the prices for the Plover ferry.