By Sarah Sharp
Every July 4, Blaine claims bragging rights for the largest show of patriotism in Whatcom County.
The Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration will take place for its 15th year – with plenty of love for the stripes and stars. It’s Blaine’s biggest event of the year, attracting more than 10,000 visitors.
The celebration just keeps on growing. The parade will now extend to the second block of 8th Street. The number of food vendors will increase from about 80 to 100, and more than 250 antique cars are expected to coast into the Show ’N Shine Car Show on Monday morning.
Most activities throughout the day are free, unless otherwise noted. A pancake breakfast will kick off the day at the Blaine Community Center from 8 to 11 a.m. The price of the meal is $6 for adults and $4 for children. All proceeds benefit the Blaine Community Center.
The Show ’N Shine Car Show will showcase blocks of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles downtown on Martin and Fourth streets, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Slots in every category of the competition have been filled. Competitors pay a $10 registration fee but entry is free to car aficionados hoping to get a glimpse of some classics.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Arts and Crafts Street Fair will offer activities for children, including bounce houses, pony rides, face painting and a miniature railroad car. A new face will join the ranks of local artists presenting their work in street booths this year: Andrew Latham of Stardrive Paintings. Latham will perform a spray painting demonstration of his signature starry space landscape.
Throughout the day, musical performances will rock, energize and jazz up the festivities. Returning performers include rock and roll group Silver City Band; the country/pop sister duo Robyn & Ryleigh; Latin fusion band Sabrina y Los Reyes; and Seattle-based gypsy jazz band Pearl Django.
New to Blaine’s celebration is Checo Tohomaso. The Vancouver musician blends soul gospel, R&B, jazz, reggae and Hawaiian calypso music to produce a unique sound. Tohomaso will also perform the national anthem.
The grand parade at noon will march along Peace Portal Drive from F Street to Cherry Street. Parade entry is free to all, available at blainechamber.com.
Festival goers can ride the oldest foot passenger ferry in the state, the historic Plover ferry, from Blaine to Semiahmoo Resort between noon and 8 p.m. If its storied past doesn’t compel you to take a ride, perhaps baby seals will – they often make an appearance to commemorate the occasion. Just be sure to arrange transportation after the firework show if you plan to watch the spectacle from Semiahmoo, as the ferry will not be making a late-night trip back to Blaine. The Plover ferry is also your ticket to a backyard clambake barbecue at Semiahmoo Resort from 4 to 9 p.m. The cost of the meal is $25.95.
Finally, thousands of spectacularly timed sparks will launch from Blaine Marine Park for the 15th annual Fourth of July firework display at 10:15 p.m. The show is supported by proceeds from the Show ’N Shine Car Show and the 2015 Bite of Blaine event.
For more information, visit the Blaine Visitor Center at 728 Peace Portal Drive, or go online to blainechamber.com.
This article has been corrected to reflect the proper parade route.