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Bellingham residents, visitors and participants of the Procession of the Species parade mingling after the event. // Photo by Nolan Kirby

Nolan Kirby
On a sunny afternoon, community members wearing animal-themed masks and costumes lined up for the 15 th a nnual Bellingham Procession of the Species Parade . The parade began at 4:30 p.m. behind the Bellingham Public Library and ended at Maritime Heritage Park.
According to the event’s Facebook page, "The [Bellingham Procession of the Species] has continued to inspire the community to celebrate our connection with nature and each other through fun, imaginative and noncommercial activities.” The Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department sponsored the event, which received additional support from Start Here Community Arts, according to Bellingham Procession of the Species’ website. Senior Mason Archuleta, a communications major, helped set up the parade for a class. Each group in the class was given a task to help the community with, he said. "We helped set up routes, create banners, puppets and letting people know the event was happening," he said. "I wouldn't change anything. I loved it." Procession of the Species started in January 1995 when a group banded together to celebrate Earth Day and showed support for the renewal of the Endangered Species Act, according to the event website. The parade is now an annual Bellingham tradition.

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