Lift your glass to St. Pat

Published on Wed, Mar 12, 2014
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Celebrations of the Irish holiday should be bigger than ever this year in Bellingham, as the annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade has gained nonprofit status.

A three-day St. Patrick’s Day festival with events that include a parade, a fun run, live music and appearances by Seahawks cheerleaders, former players and mascot Blitz, will take place from Saturday, March 15 to Monday, March 17.

The fifth annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade will run from Cornwall Plaza to Depot Market Square beginning at noon on Saturday. Organizers said the parade is open and free to all participants, who are welcome to show up to join the parade when it starts.

Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, several Seahawks cheerleaders and former players Terry Dion and Alex Bannister will be marching in the parade this year. The parade will end at Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro next to Depot Market Square, where an all-day beer garden, free live music and an outdoor barbeque celebration will keep the celebration rolling. The festivities at Boundary Bay begin at 10 a.m., along with commencement ceremonies for the Runnin’ O’ the Green community fun run and the Chuckanut Mountain 50k Trail Run.

Later in the evening at the brewery, the music will move indoors accompanied by live traditional Irish dancing by the Penk O’Donnell Irish dancers. A similar schedule of live music will happen on Sunday and Monday.

For the first time, the parade is registered as a nonprofit organization and organizers are out raising funds to help offset the cost of running the parade. A campaign on the crowd-funding website Fundly has raised more than $2,000 of the $3,000 goal. The website can be found by logging on to stpatsbham.com and clicking on the “Fundraisers” tab.

“It takes a lot to put this event on – any help we get from the community goes a long way,” said parade organizer Kate Rosengren.