By Steve Guntli
The International Arts and Music Festival returns to Peace Arch State Park June 26–28.
Now entering its third year, the festival is a celebration of music, food and art from throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Nearly 50 artists are slated to display their work in Peace Arch Park. While Blaine artists will make a strong showing with about 10 artists attending, several artists are traveling from throughout Washington, Canada and the U.S. to attend. Artwork ranges from paintings and sculptures to jewelry, fused glass and mixed media pieces.
In addition to the many shopping opportunities, six artists will give demonstrations on their craft: Metal artist Natalie Brown will display her techniques for crafting unusual metal sculptures; sculptor Brian Reed will create a large pot over the weekend; Frank Goss will give a demonstration on hand engraving; Kasydy and Dave Elliot will demonstrate how they create unique dolls and sculptures; and painter Kristi Huffey will be working on some of her pieces.
Café Rumba and Catch Culinaire will provide food for the festival. Catch Culinaire is returning for the second time after a positive response last year. Chefs Cory Hurrelbrink and Andrew Tucker specialize in using local ingredients to produce casual food with gourmet quality. Café Rumba is a Peruvian deli based out of Bellingham. The restaurant specializes in spicy, authentic Peruvian sandwiches.
Beverages from Samson Estates Winery, Aslan Brewery and many others will be on tap at the festival’s beer and wine garden.
This year’s musical performers will play an eclectic blend of styles from around the world. Tiller’s Folly, one of Canada’s most popular Celtic music groups, will play all three days of the festival. Latin music favorites Sabrina y los Reyes are scheduled to return, as are blues group Lord Knapp and Native American singer/songwriter J.P. Falcon Grady. New this year is Millie and the Mentshn, which plays play a variety of traditional European music, including Russian, Yiddish and Arabian folk music.
The show will also feature a Qigong demonstration by performers from the Blaine Taiji Academy–Sitan Wushu Center Northwest.
The group will perform a series of traditional Chinese dances and martial arts. For younger attendees, Ocheami will perform traditional African dances, songs and folktales for children.
The International Arts and Music Festival opens June 26 at 10 a.m., June 27 at 9 a.m. and June 28 at 10 a.m. The festival closes at 5 p.m. all three days. The festival is free to attend. For more information, visit peacearchart.org.
An earlier version of this story said Discover Passes were required for parking, but they are not. Parking is free, and overflow parking is available in the street outside the park. We regret the error.