Outdoors

Night Lights

In search of illumination

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

I’m not the sort of person who affixes Christmas decorations to the interior and exterior of my abode the second Halloween is over, but this year, more than ever, I understand the primordial urge to fill the long, dark nights leading up to the winter solstice with blasts of light and uplifting symbols of the season.

While I don’t plan on going as far as to place an oversized blow-up snowman on my front yard this December—like my neighbors a couple houses away are known to do—I hope to up my curb appeal with more bling than I usually would.

In case I don’t get around to it before my typical decorating day of Dec. 10, a number of upcoming events will draw attention to ways other people are illuminating the darkest of nights, beginning with a Fairhaven Lighted Bike Parade starting at 5pm Sat., Dec. 5 leaving from the parking lot at Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave.

The inaugural event is part of Fairhaven Winterfest, so it makes sense that the posse of decorated bicycles will circle through the district’s Village Green several times before the caravan makes its way to Lairmont Manor for a socially distanced celebration. Those who plan on participating should be aware they’ll be required to wear helmets and masks and keep at least six feet away from people not in their COVID bubble, and will also need to follow the rules of the road.

From 5pm-8pm Sat., Dec. 12 and Thurs., Dec. 31, Winterfest will also feature a Fairhaven Firelight Stroll starting from 8th Street and Harris Avenue. The one-way walk-through along a wooded path lined with luminaria is said to be a “half-mile of holiday magic,” so grab a warm beverage at the entry tent, stick with your group, and enjoy the sights. Info: http://www.fairhavenwinterfest.com

Those still in the Southside after the celebratory cyclists ride by Saturday evening should also be aware the Bellingham Yacht Club’s annual Lighted Boat Parade will be taking place that same night, so it’ll be worth sticking around the area. The annual event on Dec. 5 features boaters from BYC and beyond who sign up to take part in the festive flotilla, which starts at approximately 5:30pm and follows a route from Squalicum Harbor to the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. Whether you’re watching from Boulevard Park or from another waterfront locale, dress warmly and settle in to observe the aquatic spectacle. Info: http://www.byc.org

An all-caps Facebook announcement recently alerted me to the fact that the 30th annual Northwest Christmas Lighted Parade in downtown Lynden has not been cancelled, but will look vastly different than it usually does. From 5pm-8pm Sat., Dec. 5, those who want to kickstart the season safely are invited to drive or walk by the brightly decorated floats and vehicles that will be parked on one side of Front Street, between 3rd and 17th streets. This will allow spectators to ambulate in a one-way direction in the opposite lane.

“The choice is yours,” organizers say. “Stay within your own vehicle, with the family members or friends of your choosing, or get out and walk the 14-block route—just keep in mind that you will have to walk back, too.” Info: http://www.lynden.org

In Stanwood, the annual Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Park has transformed into A Drive-Thru Christmas. The illuminating experience (pictured) continues from 5pm-10pm Dec. 2-6, 9-13, 16-23 and 26-30, and features more than a million lights, festive displays, sightings of characters such as Santa and Mrs. Claus—from afar, of course—and pre-drive snacks in the form of hot mini-donuts and warm beverages (you can bring your own, as well). Each night and hour has a limited capacity, so advance online admission purchase is required.

“They did a great job making a safe version of a holiday tradition,” says a friend who recently attended the event with her family. “We didn’t freeze our butts or nuts!,” she says. “I loved the drive-through version.” Info: http://www.thelightsofchristmas.com

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