Fun on the Fourth

Summer lovin’, had me a blast

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If you’re of a certain age, you might remember when Grease came out on the big screen and the main characters, Sandy and Danny, crooned to their friends about the love they’d found—and thought they’d lost—over the long, hot days of summer. “Summer lovin’, had me a blast,” Danny informed his greaser friends, while Sandy blinked demurely and noted that it all “happened so fast.”

Decades later, that song still comes to mind when the 4th of July weekend rolls around. It all starts with a blast—that would be the Independence Day fireworks, natch—and then the flurry of summertime activities fills your calendar until, one day in mid-September, you notice the nights are becoming longer and a chill is permeating the mornings.

With the personal fireworks ban coming into effect throughout Bellingham next year, chances are good residents are in for a whole of noise and raucous behavior come Thurs., July 4, as citizens take advantage of their right to blow things up in their driveways one last time.

Hopefully, those who want to celebrate the holiday with explosives will also take part in community activities that include more than things that go boom (but also include things that go boom).

The Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration is a good place to start. The action takes place starting at 11am at Bellingham’s Zuanich Point Park with free old-fashioned picnic games—including sack races, bean bag tossing, a scavenger hunt and the ever-popular tossing of water balloons. There’ll also be an art show at the Squalicum Boathouse and, beginning at 2pm and continuing until dark, a variety of live music designed for both your listening and dancing pleasure. Food stalls will be onsite, but attendees are also welcome to bring picnics and settle in for the long haul. By the time the fireworks display over Bellingham Bay kicks off about 10:30pm, you should be in the mood for that aforementioned “blast.”

If being at Zuanich Point Park to watch the fireworks doesn’t appeal to you, the Port of Bellingham has announced it will open up the former Georgia-Pacific mill pier for one night only for viewing purposes. While you’ll have to leave the booze and grills at home, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. The pier will only accommodate about 1,000 people, so come early for a good spot. Other viewing parties include a July 4 celebration at the Community Boating Center (http://www.boatingcenter.org), and a “Fireworks for Futurewise Whatcom” fundraiser on the roof of the Herald Building (http://www.futurewise.org/whatcom).

Residents and visitors to Blaine can also get in on the fun at the 12th annual “Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration.” Activities begin early with an 8am Pancake Breakfast at the city’s Senior Center and continue with a noontime parade, a “Show and Shine” car show featuring more than 200 classic vehicles, an arts and crafts street fair, live music, rides on the Plover ferry and, at 10:15pm, fireworks originating at Blaine Marine Park.

If you think it’ll help get you in the mood, you might want to listen to “Summer Nights” before heading out on your holiday excursions. “Summer days drifting away to, oh, oh, the summer nights” aren’t the most complex lyrics in the world, but they do the job of encapsulating that moment in the beginning of summer when anything is possible. 

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