Summer’s End

Say it ain’t so


What: Summer's End

When: 12 pm Sat., Sep. 30

Where: Maritime Heritage Park

Cost: Free


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

It was truly a glorious summer. Day after day dawned with blue skies and ample sunshine just made for prolonged basking. Evenings were mild and encouraged wandering until the stars twinkled their way out, one by one. Sure, the lack of rain was concerning. And the smoke from nearby wildfires certainly marred air quality and reminded us all how lucky we are not to live in the literal line of fire. But all in all, it was as perfect a summer as any I can remember in my 20-plus years of living here.

All good things must come to an end and so it is with summer.

The season itself might be officially behind us, a chill might have entered our formerly balmy air and I can’t be the only one that has retired my T-shirts in favor of sweaters, but some folks in town are not ready to let summer go without a proper goodbye—and theirs is a viewpoint I can fully back.

Last year, a mysterious local group called Summer’s End threw an all-day celebration of arts, music and the waning season also called Summer’s End at Larabee State Park. During the course of the day, nearly 300 people showed up to the free community celebration, so knowing their idea was one with broad appeal, for this year’s Summer’s End, they’ve teamed up with Make.Shift and moved their party to a more central location, Maritime Heritage Park.

The concert/art show is again an all-day affair, beginning at noon on Sat., Sept. 30 and ending at 8pm. By the time the sun sets on the event—and, finally, summer itself—bands and DJs will have performed, murals will have been painted on the spot (to be sold at auction with proceeds going to charity), art will have been installed, lawn games will have been played, food and beer from local vendors will have been consumed, workshops will have been taken and the community will have come together in one of Bellingham’s public spaces.

Slated to play are Bob Fossil, Noisywaters, Step Dads, ParisAlexa, and La Fonda. Silent disco sets will be provided by Traffic, Shadow Variable, Metsa, BMOE, Fluencie, and Klefto. Art installations will come courtesy of Prism, Clareity Expressions, Candypath, Trevor Capps, Steven Baddley, Zay Kim, Gretchen Leggitt, Abby Kuchar, and Zach Thompson.

As it was last year, Summer’s End is free and family-friendly in 2017, meaning you can wander by and check it out for a minute or eight hours. Bring your kids, bring your dogs, bring your prowess at games, bring your dancing shoes. But you won’t need to bring a single dollar for entry (you will need to cough up some cash for food and beverages, if you are so inclined), although I’m fairly certain Make.Shift will happily take your donations should you be so inclined to thank them for their involvement by making one.

In a place that celebrates the warming of the days by throwing concerts in so many available outdoor spaces that a person could literally attend a free al fresco show nearly every single (sunny) day of the week, I can think of no more perfect way to kiss the season goodbye than with one final, giant event in the Great Outdoors—or a reasonable a facsimile thereof without having to leave Downtown Bellingham.

The goal of Summer’s End is a simple one: to encourage a sense of community and activism and to encourage people to enjoy one of our public spaces. And, of course, to give the season the sendoff it so richly deserves before we are confined and condemned indoors, shivering and shaking, no matter how many sweaters we wear—or maybe that’s just me.

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