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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Home for the Holidays

5:00pm|Ferndale Events Center

The 39 Steps

7:00pm|Sehome High School Little Theatre

Little Women

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Romeo, You Idiot!

7:30pm|Heiner Theater


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Craft Bazaar

9:00am|American Legion Post #43

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Hot Cider & Cool Art

10:00am|Morgan Block Studios

Used Book Sale

10:00am|Everson Library

Red Barn Handpicked Holiday Market

12:00pm|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

3:00pm|Lynden Library, Ferndale Library

It's Where the Sidewalk Ends

6:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

New Music, New Dance

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

The Big Short One-Act Festival

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Pancake Feed

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Holiday Bazaar

9:00am|Hillcrest Chapel

Christmas in the Woods

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

NSEA Work Party

9:00am|Acme Elementary School

Turkey Trot

9:00am|Squalicum Creek Park

Climate Reality

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

South Fork Winterfest

10:00am|Van Zandt Community Hall

Fall Gardening

10:00am|Lynden Library

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Lynden Book Club

10:30am|Everson Library

Salmon Sighting

12:00pm|Haynie Creek

Conquering Writer's Block

2:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fishboy Holiday Show

2:00pm|FishBoy Gallery

NaNoWriMo and Indie Publishing

3:00pm|Everson Library

Skagit Wine & Beer Festival


Homeless Summit and Cold Weather Giveaway

3:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

i.e. artists talk

3:30pm|i.e. gallery

Small Works Opening

4:00pm|Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park

Smith & Vallee Artist Talk

4:00pm| Smith & Vallee Gallery

WA 129 Poetry Reading

6:00pm|Maple Hall

Giving from the Heart

7:00pm|Depot Art Center

A Light in the Darkness

7:00pm|Church of the Assumption

Welcome Home Celebration

7:00pm|Village Books

Ruach Consort

7:00pm|St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Eagles Hall

Michael Kaeshammer

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Legends of the Blues V

7:30pm|Byrnes Performing Arts Center

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Peter and the Star Catcher

7:00pm|Squalicum High School


7:30pm|Mount Baker High School

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Bellingham Repertory Dance's Emerge

7:30pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Rexville Grange Holiday Art Show

10:00am|Rexville Grange

Cheese Fest

10:00am|Everybody's Store

Holiday Farmers Market

10:00am|Port of Anacortes Transit Shed Event Center

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

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8:30am|Fairhaven Bicycle

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Sound of Music Singalong

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

A Musical Thanksgiving

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Harmony from Discord with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

3:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The 25th Hour

4:00pm|Village Books

Southside Community Meal

5:00pm|Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

Way North Comedy Showcase

7:00pm|Farmstrong Brewing Co.

Rutie Dornfeld, John Miller

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

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Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am|Meridian Street

Wander + Camber Beer Dinner

6:30pm|Camber Cafe

Rocks & Gems

7:00pm|Bloedel Donovan Community Building


9:30pm|Green Frog

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