Visual

Border Crossings

An international affair

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

International travel can get real hairy, real quickly.

Case in point: A friend of mine was once awoken from a backseat slumber to find the car he was a passenger in at the United States/Canada border in Blaine surrounded by a bunch of border agents with guns. The license the driver of the vehicle had handed the authorities misidentified my buddy as a wanted criminal with the same name, and it was many hours before he could convince them he wasn’t the perp they were looking for.

While most border crossings go more smoothly, issues can arise over a variety of problems—insufficient identification, paying duty and taxes, restricted and prohibited goods, bringing firearms from one country to another, and the possibility that the weed hidden in the peanut butter jar might be discovered during a routine car search.

At the International Arts and Music Festival taking place June 24-26 at the Canadian Peace Arch Provincial Park and the U.S. Peace Arch State Park, visitors to and from both countries won’t have to worry about whether their passports and NEXUS cards are up to date or if their name matches that of a serial killer.

At the annual event, attendees can park in their respective countries and—provided they don’t leave the confines of the two parks—skip the border checkpoints to enjoy an internationally inspired afternoon.

At the three-day gathering, art of many kinds will be on display and up for public perusal. In addition to featured artists such as acrylic painter Peggy Cook, Carla’s Funky Art, Treats Design, and I’olana Design, approximately 50 participating artists from both the United States and Canada will show and sell unique sculptures, paintings, visual arts, textiles and more.

Plus, if you haven’t yet viewed this year’s Peace Arch Sculpture Exhibit—an annual show that features permanent and semi-permanent works throughout the 40-acre park by a variety of artists—this is a prime time to suss it out.

Also on the “featured artists” lineup are creative types who aren’t just focused on the visual side of things, such as the 10-piece powerhouse band Baby Cakes, who promise to “take their audiences on a luxurious joyride through the golden age of American soul, funk and R&B.”

“We are more excited this year than ever,” organizer Brian Major says. “We have amazing artists and a killer music lineup planned for our fourth annual Arts and Music Festival.

“You can relax at a shady picnic table and listen to jazz or African music, or participate in a salsa dance. Afterward, purchase a spectacular silver necklace, a set of hand-thrown mugs, a quilted wall hanging, or you might take home a stunning painting or photograph as a memorable representation of the region.”

Finally, the culinary artisans from downtown Bellingham’s Cosmos Bistro will be in charge of feeding the masses with a focus on locally grown, sustainable products—something that will also be taken into consideration when it comes to the adult beverages available at the outdoor wine and beer garden.

Whether you’re coming for the art, the music, the food, the scenery or the fact that you can visit two countries in one day without having to give up your vital statistics, remember that the event is meant to highlight the unique relationship between Canada and the United States. If you’re down with that, you might want to plan a trip farther afield. Of course, you’ll need identification for that.

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Today
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Fatal Attraction

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Noises Off

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

The Emperor of the Moon

7:30pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Chuckanut Writers Conference

10:00am|Whatcom Community College

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

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Sin & Gin Tours

5:30pm|Downtown Bellingham

Keys for Kids

5:30pm|La Conner Flats

Off the Charts!

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Fool Me Twice

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Lynden Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Padden Triathlon

8:30am|Lake Padden Park

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|North Fork Library, Nugents Corner

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Sumas Community Days

10:00am|Sumas City Park

What's the Point?

10:00am|Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve

Imagine This! Home and Landscape Tour

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Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

York Community Farm Celebration

11:00am|York Community Farm

Jelly and Sorbet Class

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

The Art of Bonsai

11:00am|Azusa Farm & Gardens

Farm to Glass

12:00pm|BelleWood Acres

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

A Japanese Touch

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Bellingham Beer & Live Music Festival

2:00pm|North Bellingham Golf Course

High Tea

3:00pm|Majestic Inn

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Summer Moments Party and Potluck

5:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

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5:30pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Tiny TED Talks

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Village Books
Tomorrow
Sounds by the bay

9:41am

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Noises Off

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Off the Charts!

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

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Rabbit Ride

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8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

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