Sunnyland Stomp

Creativity on every corner

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I haven’t needed to fill out a job application in awhile, but if I ever do so again, I’ll be sure and add “emceed chicken race” to the roster of my life’s arcane accomplishments.

That may sound silly, but when I showed up ready to oversee the action at the seventh annual Sunnyland Stomp a couple of summers ago, I soon learned the skills necessary to be successful at this venture would translate well for any employer seeking a new hire.

In addition to working well with others—including the colleague who was also promised “pie, beer and fame” to help direct the avian action from event founder Alice Clark—the temporary position required competent public speaking skills, improvisational insights about the feathered competitors and their keepers, and the ability to corral poultry.

Although the entertaining event was put on hold last year, I’m happy to report that the poultry palaver will return to this year’s Sunnyland Stomp starting at high noon Sat., July 15 at the neighborhood’s Memorial Park.

Trust me when I tell you a chicken race is the perfect way to kick off an afternoon and evening of playful creativity.  It’ll also be a good time to peruse the Sunnyland Stomp map—which can be downloaded in advance—and decide which of the 25 stops you’re interested in checking out from 3-9pm, when the event kicks into full gear.

As a past winner of Bellingham’s Mayor’s Arts Awards, art might be what you’re after when it comes to sussing out what’s happening in the front yards, backyards and various structures of those who will be opening up their spaces to the general public.

In that case, check off a visit to contemporary folk artist RR Clark’s home and perennially colorful Fishboy Gallery (617 Virginia St.) or drop by a Welding-Sculpture-Blowout featuring sculptures, car contraptions and, after dark, something called a “fire tornado” (317 E. Illinois St.). Onsite screen printing at Red Boots Design (2120 Grant St.), community art at Paint, Paper, Canvas (2412 Franklin St.), paintings and jewelry by designer Chelsea Jepson at Tide Lines North (116 Alabama St.), and paintings at Di Nitto’s Realm (615 Virginia St.) will also be among—but not limited to—the visually focused offerings.

Per usual, many of the stops defy categorization, leaving visitors to wonder whether they’re at an art gallery, an all-ages dance party, a foam sword soiree, a plant nursery, a pizza joint or a concert space (hint: in some cases, it’s more than one of those things). This year, a scavenger hunt geared toward young attendees will give them a chance to pick up tokens at each stop before collecting a prize.

“I’m really excited to see the community come together for this unique, creative event,” organizer and participant Erin Boyd says. “We’re looking forward to sharing art, food and fun times with all the visitors to our neighborhood.”

Although I haven’t been “hired” to emcee this year’s chicken race, it’s likely you’ll find me on the sidelines, where I’ll be prepared to fill the position in the event of fowl play.

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Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Mason Bee Management

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Smoking Crow Opening

9:00am|Smoking Crow

Plant Society Field Trip

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Nordic Ski Ambassadors

10:00am|SnoPark at Salmon Ridge

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

March on Bellingham

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Of marching and mending


Travel to Cuzco and Machu PIcchu

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Cedar Weaving Workshop

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Teddy Bear Biographies

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Learn to Grow a Vegetable Garden

2:00pm|Sumas Library

Mona Openings

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Mysticism in Art

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Exploring Port

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

3:00pm|Everson Library

Kindgom Quest

4:00pm|Village Books

Music and Memories

5:00pm|Swinomish Casino & Lodge

Robert Burns Supper

5:30pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Ensemble Electra

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

The Good Lovelies

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

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Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Rabbit Ride

8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Bellingham Chamber Music Society

3:00pm|First Congregational Church

Nonfiction and Memoir Writing Group

3:00pm|Village Books

Southside Community Meal

5:00pm|Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Way North Comedy

7:00pm|Farmstrong Brewing Co.

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Cuban Salsa Classes

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Salish Sea Early Music Festival

7:30pm|St. Paul's Episcopal Church


8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

see our complete calendar »

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