The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce (BBCC) and Visitor Information Center enjoyed a successful 2019. We are ending the year with 152 members, including 26 new members added in 2019. BBCC is committed to seeking new ideas on how to support our members. At our recent annual general meeting, we honored Saville West as Member of the Year, Rachael Apodaca as the chamber’s Employee of the Year and Cynthia Osborne as Volunteer of the Year.
Our summer events drew record-breaking crowds and invited tourists from near and far.
At this year’s Kite Festival, BBCC handed out over 350 free kites to kids who flew them on the beach during low tide and in the beach park where we danced to the rockin’ tunes of local bands Baby Cakes and GrooveBot. This family friendly event also included an engaging kids’ zone sponsored by Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2, filled with arts, crafts and games that all ages enjoyed.
Rollback Weekend and Sand Sculpture Competition turned out to be one of our largest events in Birch Bay this summer. Combining these two events and partnering with Vicious Autoworks produced a successful event. Patrons enjoyed cars from all generations, everything from old cruisers to newer hot rods and project cars. The beach was filled with impressive sand sculptures ranging from octopi to pirate ships, and even a sasquatch!
Discover Birch Bay Days was paired with FanFest 2019 and brought out the Seahawks fan in all of us. Hawks fans from all over flocked to Birch Bay to celebrate the start of the 2019 season. The parade this year was really something special with all the “hawked out” cars filled with Seahawks alumni and mamas. BBCC welcomed the Beast Bus and One Love Entertainment who came and rocked the bay with their professional sound stage.
We ended 2019 with the annual Ring of Fire and Hope, and jumped right into the New Year with the 37th annual Polar Bear Plunge.
In addition to our annual events this summer, we partnered with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders to bring National Night Out to Birch Bay. This event brought families and first responders together to promote community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. We thank officer Todd Damon and all of the first responders who worked with us to plan this fun event for the community.
We enjoyed working with our continued partners: Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2, the Healthy Youth Coalition and Friends of Birch Bay Library. This year we started working with the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District (BBWARM) and the Whatcom Conservation District with their Adopt-a-Block Program. We have lots of active volunteers in the community who are helping to keep Birch Bay clean.
We ended 2019 with the start of construction on the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility Project, a project that has been in the works for over 40 years! In September, BBCC hosted a groundbreaking ceremony that honored Jack Louws, Roland Middleton and the county officials who have worked diligently to get this project planned and engineered. BBCC envisions that this project will boost economic development and tourism in Birch Bay once completed. We are looking forward to watching Birch Bay grow and flourish.
A heartfelt thanks to our dedicated volunteers, members and sponsors – 2019 wouldn’t have been such a success without your support. BBCC is looking forward to 2020, our summer events and adding some fun new things into the mix here in Birch Bay. We hope to see you in Birch Bay in the new year!