This weekend, the Bellingham community will gather to celebrate its marine and fishing industry by getting their grub on — seafood style.
On Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, you can attend SeaFeast, a two-day event filled with food, music, art, education — and more food.
Friday’s SeaFeast festival will be held from noon to 11 p.m. in downtown Bellingham, while Saturday’s festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Zuanich Point Park.
“People will come hungry and go away full,” SeaFeast marketing director Mike McKenzie said.
The event is open to all ages and admission is free, McKenzie said.
“Eating and drinking will cost money,” McKenzie said. “So basically, you can have an amazing day and not spend a dime if you don’t eat.”
“Students who have been around the marine industry will understand this, but anyone who’s not been around it; this will be a total eye-opening experience.”
Mike McKenzie, SeaFeast marketing director
Among plenty of seafood options, there will be a variety of food vendors offering alternative options for those who are allergic to or can’t eat seafood, McKenzie said.
For patrons 21 and over, there will be a seaside beer garden, and Brews-With-a-View will feature beer from local breweries that customers can casually sip as they glance out at the view of Bellingham Bay.
Over the span of two days, there will be eight different live music performances, including a presentation by the Bellingham Circus Guild.
According to McKenzie, Bellingham has three major industries: forestry, agriculture and the marine industry.
“Now we have a major event celebrating the third industry,” McKenzie said. “The fishing industry and seafood industry is massive.”
On Friday night it’s all about the Fisher Poets at Boundary Bay Brewery. Fishers are coming from all over to sing, read and tell stories.
“They write their own material,” McKenzie said. “That’s an important facet of the whole event.”
To put an emphasis on the marine industry, there will be an event called Meet Your Fishers on Saturday. Captains will be welcoming guests aboard to their active, working fishing boats along the dock. This will be accompanied by a rescue demonstration from the Coast Guard and survival suit races.
“How the fish come from the water to your plate is kind of an unknown entity,” McKenzie said. “Students who have been around the marine industry will understand this, but anyone who’s not been around it; this will be a total eye-opening experience.”
The grand finale, a dinner on the second night called “Feast of the Sea,” costs $90 and will include more than 30 different dishes.
The planning team for the event, made up of an enormous amount of volunteers, has been preparing for more than a year and has put in countless hours of work, McKenzie said.
McKenzie hopes to grow the event even larger in the upcoming years. Volunteer positions are still available if you wish to help out at the event.