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Outdoors

Independence Action

Fun on the fourth

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bellingham may have banned personal fireworks inside city limits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a night of explosive activity. Read on for primo ways to enjoy your 4th of July festivities without leaving town, then prepare to experience some serious firepower (just not in your backyard, please).

Signs are pointing to a sunny holiday, and that’s good news for those wanting to experience all aspects of the annual Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration. The daylong celebration at Squalicum Harbor’s Zuanich Point Park has it all, including music to enjoy in the great outdoors from the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band, the Margaret Wilder Band, Second Window, and, to end the night in a dancing frame of mind, the ska and soul brass sounds of the Yogoman Burning Band. Attendees can also enjoy old-fashioned picnic games (think sack races and the tossing of water balloons), bring picnics along or refuel at several food trucks, peruse a juried art show, and, of course, pick their spot to view the fireworks lighting up Bellingham Bay once the sun sets. If the limited parking concerns you, consider catching a free passenger shuttle at the Port of Bellingham’s Technology Development Center (located at the corner of Roeder and F streets). Biking and walking is also encouraged, of course. When: 11am-11pm. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.haggen.com

Nearby, there will also be optimal places to view the nighttime light display, including the inaugural Yes, We CAN! Canned Craft Beer Festival taking place Friday night at an Elizabeth Station block party (on J Street, between Holly and Astor streets). Billed as an “All-American, 100 percent recyclable Fourth of July celebration,” the lively event will feature canned goods from 30 regional breweries, live music, street food, yard games for both kids and adults, performances by Bellingham Circus Guild members and, natch, a stellar view. When: 5-10pm Cost: $20-$25 (free for kids 14 and under) Info: http://www.re-sources.org

At press time, tickets were also still available for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s fifth annual Party on the Herald Roof: Fourth of July Celebration. I’ve been on the top of the iconic State Street building a few times, and can attest that the view of Bellingham Bay—and indeed, the city, mountain and surrounding environs—doesn’t get much better. In addition to the stellar eye candy, purchasing a ticket will also get you food, Boundary Bay brews, live music and a chance to donate to an organization dedicated to advocating for a vibrant city center. When: 8pm Fri., July 4. Cost: $50. Info: (360) 527-8710 or http://www.downtownbellingham.com

If you’d prefer to be on the water instead of simply looking at it, San Juan Cruises still had a handful of tickets available for the third boat they added to their July 4 Fireworks Cruise lineup. The excursions include indoor and outdoor viewing areas, a cracked crab and baked chicken dinner, a cruise around Chuckanut and Bellingham Bay, and, at dusk, a chance to watch the sparkly things in the night sky. When: 7:30-11pm Fri., July 4 Cost: $89 Info: http://www.whales.com

Finally, the Port of Bellingham will open a portion of the former Georgia-Pacific mill site pier—now referred as the “waterfront district”—to the public on a first-come, first-served basis to oversee the action. Starting at 9:30pm, the Central Avenue entrance to the site (next to the Granary building off Roeder Avenue) will open, and attendees will walk along a designated route to the former pier for viewing. Attendance will be capped at 1,000, so get there early if you want in on the rare opportunity. When: 9:30pm Fri., July 4. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.portofbellingham.com

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