With summer ablaze here in the North Country, the opportunities for fun in the sun are plentiful and diverse.
Run for a cause at the Third Annual Wind Horse Half Marathon Run for Education on Saturday, July 20th. This 13.1 mile race, organized by the Blue Sky Education Project, begins and ends at Fairhaven Park. The event raises funds for children near Bellingham’s sister city, Tsetserleg, Mongolia, to purchase supplies needed for school attendance. Register here. Bib pick-up and registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 8:30 a.m. Winners will be awarded a Mongolian khadag. You’ll have to finish to find out what that is!
Don’t miss the “Dewey Griffin Subaru Tour de Whatcom“, a fun-filled charity bike ride in Whatcom County on Sunday, July 27th. The rides are awesome: you can choose from a 25, 50, or 105 mile route. Bring the entire family (there’s a special family rate this year) and soak in the sights. You get to see everything: Mt Baker, Lake Whatcom, valleys, rivers, lush farmland, beaches and Puget Sound all in one fairly level ride. The Rest Stops are some of the best in the state, with food, drinks, snacks, and live music at each one. Food is donated by local Fred Meyer stores. REI & Fairhaven Bike Club will be available for free safety checks and “quick” repairs (parts are at your expense). Motorcycles will be cruising the routes to make sure all are safe. In 2012, 980 riders participated and more than $20,000 was raised for charities. This year, the beneficiary of the ride is the WMBC-Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, a great organization that has tirelessly worked to promote mountain biking in these parts. Register here.
Also on the 27th, you can enjoy running and drum music at the Anacortes Art Dash. This half-marathon, 10k and 5K starts at Anacortes City Hall, follows the scenic Tommy Thompson Trail, and ends back at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed. It has become a tradition for Art Dash runners to be welcomed at the finish line by drumming. Drummers from Shidaa (led by Michael McLaskey and Joe Horsak) will be on hand to encourage and entertain participants outside the Port warehouse. More info and registration here . This event is a warm-up of sorts for the always spectacular Anacortes Arts Festival, which transforms downtown Anacortes into an open-air art market on August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. If you like jazz, be sure to check out the KPLU Jazz Stage on Sunday the 4th, where three amazing and diverse groups will explore musical boundaries: Arete Quartet (noon), Pearl Django (1:30) and the Mark Lewis Quartet (3:30)
The City of Subdued Excitement has a new Adventure Film Festival that will make its debut in August. The 5Point Film Festival (based in Carbondale, Colorado) will be pulling into town for an evening of adventure entertainment and inspiration on August 29th at the Depot Market on Railroad Ave. in Bellingham. 5Point is all about a dedication to storytelling and the exploration of the human spirit of adventure. This festival isn’t about professional athletes pulling off death-defying stunts – it’s about personal discovery, freedom, the celebration of life and all of the emotions that come along with it. This new event, brought to us by the American Alpine Club, gets going at 5 p.m. with a vendor fair, raffle and silent auction. Films start at dusk and refreshments are provided by our friends at Kulshan Brewery. Tickets are $10. Want to join in the filmmaking fun? The Bellingham Adventure Film Competition might be right up your alley. Local adventure film makers will be screening their films on August 22nd at Backcountry Essentials in downtown Bellingham. You can enter a film – the winning entry will open the Festival on the 29th. Info about submissions here.