Blaine’s Fourth of July festivities return

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By Steve Guntli

It’s that time once again.

Blaine’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July is the town’s biggest event of the year. Every July 4, more than 10,000 people from both sides of the border fill Blaine’s streets for live music, food and Whatcom County’s largest Independence Day celebration. This year’s event promises to be every bit as fun as it has been in the past.

The festivities on the Fourth kick off with a pancake breakfast at the Blaine Community Center from 8 to 11 a.m. From there, visitors can check out the Show N Shine Car Show around downtown from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dozens of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles from around the state make the trip each year to participate in the car show. Anyone who wants to enter his or her vehicle in the show can do so until July 4. Registration is $10. Applications for the car show can be found online at blainechamber.com.

An arts and crafts street fair on Peace Portal Drive and H Street will be full of unique items from local vendors, will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Blaine Library will hold a book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s celebration is putting a greater emphasis on music than ever before. Free musical acts are slated to perform in the Pizza Factory parking lot on H Street and Peace Portal Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bellingham favorite Polecat will be playing the festival this year. The band is known for their eclectic blend of American roots folk music, Irish rock, reggae and country. The group has played more than 200 shows around the Pacific Northwest over the last three years. Returning favorites like The Atlantics, R Factor 5, the Silver City Band and Sabrina y los Reyes round out the roster of talented musical performers.

The Fourth of July parade begins at noon, running south down Peace Portal Drive. Parade organizers are accepting new floats up until July 4. To register, visit blainechamber.com.

Parade goers will still find plenty to do after the parade ends and the vendors close. Semiahmoo Resort is hosting a hybrid barbeque/clam bake from 4 to 9 p.m.

The fireworks display begins at 10:15 p.m. in Blaine Marine Park with a dazzling array of fireworks over Semiahmoo Bay. This year’s display was partially financed by proceeds from the chamber’s Bite of Blaine event in February.

The festivities this year will carry over to July 5. At 1 p.m., Full Metal Racket, a band comprised of members of the Army National Guard’s 133rd battalion, will play in Marine Park. The band, which features Blaine resident Ayn Balback, plays a selection of rock and country hits from throughout the decades, everything from classic rock to grunge to modern top 40 hits. The concert will be free to attend.

For more information, visit the Blaine Visitor Center at 728 Peace Portal Drive, or go online to blainechamber.com.

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