Outdoors

Paint B'ham Blue

Vikings for a day

Attend

What: Paint B'ham Blue for WWU

When: 5 pm Wed., Sep. 26

Where: Red Square to Depot Market Square

Cost: Free; register in advance

Info: http://www.alumni.wwu.edu/paintbhamblue

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The changing colors of leaves from forest-green to bright red or yellow is typically a harbinger that one season has come to a close and another has begun.

While that’s still true, another prominent hue seen in downtown Bellingham this past week is heralding a different kind of autumnal crossover—that of a city welcoming thousands of new and returning college students just in time for the beginning of the 2018/2019 academic year.

Urban denizens who have noticed blue popping up in a variety of places—most notably via long swaths of LED lights strung among scores of trees along Holly Street, Railroad Avenue, State Street and beyond—should be prepared for another wave of color that will appear in thoroughfares Wed., Sept. 26 as part of the third annual “Paint B’ham Blue for WWU.”

While the event is ostensibly meant for new Western Washington University students and alumni, the community at large can also witness and welcome the migration of students and WWU President Sabah Randhawa as they make their way from Red Square and the campus at large to the Depot Market Square. 

Judging by videos and photographs taken at last fall’s event, this is no staid procession, and onlookers can expect to see everybody from burgeoning musicians to members of the cheerleading squad, volleyball players, the Vikings mascot, Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, foreign exchange students and many other college hopefuls in attendance.

Banners, bubble machines, a photo booth, vendors, food trucks, information booths, dancing, live music by Noisywaters with the WSO, and other activities will keep the festivities going until dark, when the throngs gathered in the square and curious passersby can join in on the countdown as the Herald Building sign turns blue, culminating in a fireworks show that will add spectacular highlights to the nighttime sky.

At 8:30pm, students can regroup to walk back to campus together or stick around for a while longer. Directly across the street, Project Red Thread will be in the midst of hosting an all-ages event at the beer garden at Boundary Bay Brewery, and in addition to live music by electronic musicians Fluencie, Metsä, and WMD, attendees can find out more about the group celebrating Bellingham’s creatives.

“Our mission is to support artists spanning a variety of mediums with opportunities for collaboration, promotion and interaction with the community at large,” organizers say. Art exhibits will be up throughout the venue, so take a look at what’s on display, and then paint Bellingham whatever color moves you.

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