Mark your calendars, the Birch Bay Music Festival is back

Birch Bay Music Festival 2016. Photo by Wayne Diaz.

By Stefanie Donahue

The event of the year for pet and music lovers is just around the corner.

From Friday through Sunday, August 4–6, the public is invited to stop by the seventh annual Birch Bay Music Festival, a fundraiser held to support animal welfare organizations in Whatcom County. The event is free to attend, but guests are encouraged to donate.

The festival’s genesis dates back to 2010, when former Bay Café co-owner Tammy Pearce created it to support animals in need of care. Now a registered nonprofit, the festival is responsible for raising thousands of dollars for a variety of organizations in the community.

This year, Happy Tails Happy Homes and Rescued Hearts Northwest will benefit from money raised through vendor sales, silent auctions and other donations.

The public should expect “a lot bigger and a lot better” out of this year’s event, said Birch Bay Music Festival board member and event co-organizer Kathy Stanford.

As enticement, a variety of items will be up for grabs at the silent auction, including rodeo tickets, crabbing gear and outdoor décor, she said. Plus, they’ll be auctioning off a Seahawks-inspired guitar created by Andy Beech from Bellingham-based D’Haitre Guitars and artwork by Frank Dooley. Beech is responsible for crafting the guitar Prince played at the 2007 Super Bowl.

As for music, Stanford said they’re offering the public a little bit of everything. “We’ve got country; we’ve got rock; we’ve got metal,” she said.

A variety of bands from Washington are slated to play this year, including The Groove Birds, Maximus, Southern Freight, The Best of Fools, The Second Hand Suits, Exit 266, Heroes, The Takers, Sunset Superman, The Replayzmentz, Rocky Vasalino Show, Lordknapp Band, Powerhouse, Heartbreaker, Arcade Cowboys, Aura (Apollo Duo), Little Big Band, Cousin Marvin, Enemy Within, Electric Soul Society and Alien Probe.

Seattle Seahawks fans should also lookout for the “Fanbulance,” which will make a pit stop at the festival at an undisclosed time on Sunday, Stanford said.

The event takes place at 7878 Birch Bay Drive from 2 to 10 p.m. on August 4; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on August 5; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 6.

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