As Graham Marzocco rang the finish line bell at the 2019 Ski to Sea Race, he was greeted by a large and cheerful crowd of Bellingham locals right on the Bellingham Bay.
Marzocco, after completing both the downhill ski and sea kayaking portions, recalls finishing the race and seeing the crowds of people cheering him on.
“That has to be the best leg to cross the finish line and ring that bell,” he said.
The annual Ski to Sea race, which blends multiple extreme sports like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, cyclocross biking, canoeing and sea kayaking starts on Mount Baker and ends on the Bellingham Bay waterfront in Historic Fairhaven.
The race is typically followed by a block party celebration on the streets of Fairhaven called the “Fairhaven Festival”, put on by the Fairhaven Association.
Scott Ward, executive director of the Fairhaven Association, is ecstatic to bring a more local and Pacific Northwest feel to this year’s Fairhaven Festival.
“This year, we have a renowned focus on our local and Pacific Northwest communities,” Ward said.
For this year’s event, the Fairhaven Association is highlighting local arts, crafts and food vendors from around Whatcom County and as far south as Everett. Ward hopes to continue this focus on local vendors for future events in the Fairhaven community.
A list of beers, ciders and wines featured in this year’s beer garden was posted here. Local breweries featured in the beer garden include Boundary Bay, Kulshan and Twin Sisters just to name a few.
The festival, which is centered around the Village Green and surrounding streets, began at 11 a.m. and continued until 7 p.m on May 29, as the Fairhaven community is encouraged to cheer on the race finishers and enjoy the local art and food vendors.
The Fairhaven Village Green, situated at the corner of 10th St. and Mill Ave., was the location of the Village Green Stage. This stage offered an array of acts starting at 11:00 a.m. with Cascadia Groove, followed by Hot Damn Scandal, The Atlantics and Baby Cakes to wrap things up from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
With the influx of foot traffic on the streets of Fairhaven, businesses in the community like Fairhaven Poke were excited for this year's festivities to kick off.
“Since they shut down Harris Ave. for the day, the foot traffic makes for a fun day to be open,” said David Jacobsen, owner of local restaurant Fairhaven Poke.
With their shop situated right on Harris Ave., Fairhaven Poke and the neighboring business are in a prime location in relation to the festival.
Ward was sure to mention that the festival takes around 200 volunteers in total to run an event like this. Volunteer positions include general festival setup and teardown, a beer garden crew, and parking control. As he began to laugh, Ward added, “you get a free t-shirt if you volunteer!”
Information about the Fairhaven Festival is available at EnjoyFairhaven.com.
Sam Kristofferson is a City Life Writer for The Front and is a third-year majoring in Journalism with an emphasis in Audio Production and Photography. Originally from Ventura, CA, Sam enjoys living life on trail, brewing pour-over coffee, and catching bands like Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and Wilco in concert.
You can reach Sam at email@example.com.