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Western Washington University hosts first-ever block party

The event is an opportunity for members of Western’s community to reconnect to campus

Flyer for the Western Block Party with blue and green hues showing past events at Western. The flyer provides the date and what’s to offer at the block party. // Courtesy of Loren Skaggs

On May 11, Western Washington University is throwing their first block party for friends, family and alumni of Western to attend. The block party will run from noon to 3 p.m., located on Western’s track and field next to the Wade King Rec Center. 

“It's the first time we're doing a block party,”  Lili McMurtrey, the event coordinator, said. “In the past, we’ve done something called Back to Bellingham or Alumni Weekend, and so we wanted to do something in the spring to bring alumni and the Western community to campus.” 

Previous events like Back to Bellingham and this year's block party are ways Western tries to keep their alumni connected to the community on campus and in Bellingham. 

“It's important for the Foundation and for the broader community to have that sense of togetherness, for there to be opportunities to get together just to enjoy the campus and the environment,” said Loren Skaggs, the director of marketing and communications for the Foundation for WWU and Alumni. 

The block party will have a beer and wine garden on the track field, live music from Baby Cakes, local food trucks, campus tours, and activities such as face painting and lawn games. There will also be a Bellingham history tour by The Good Time Girls, although the tour is currently sold out.

The confirmed food trucks attending are WTF, GIRLnDOG, Hot Dog Brothers, El Tapatio and Mix Masala, and the confirmed breweries are Larrabee Lager Company, Kulshan Brewing, Boundary Bay and Stones Throw Brewing.

McMurtrey highlighted the importance of Bellingham to the Western community and how it’s important to support those within the community of Bellingham.  

“All of the food trucks are local,” McMurtrey said. “The cotton candy artist that we're getting is usually at the Northwest Washington Fair. And even beyond Bellingham, we're bringing in some popcorn from Pike Place. We're really trying to make this a kind of Pacific Northwest-centric event.”

Registration for the block party is highly encouraged. Skaggs said around 500 people are already registered for the event. Those planning to attend can register here for the event. 

Western provided a list of places to stay in Bellingham for potential attendees. They also said some hotels have discounts for Western alumni, so it's a good idea to ask when booking your stay. 

Steve Burger, a Western alumni who graduated in 1996, grew up in Bellingham and was involved within the Western community from youth, when Western was known as Western Washington State College.

“My father and my uncle were Western College graduates,” Burger said. “They both played sports at Western, so as a kid, I would get taken to basketball and football games and we would regularly attend them, so I grew up connected to the sports programs.”

For many, including Skaggs, the event is a chance to reunite with those they haven't been able to talk to since their time at college.

“My entire family are Western alumni, and I know that they're going to be excited to catch up with people they went to school with,” Skaggs said. “I'm really excited to meet other people that I only see online from time to time.”

A promotional video can be found here, courtesy of Skaggs.

Bodey Mitchell

Bodey Mitchell (he/him) is a campus life reporter for The Front this quarter. He is a second-year Journalism pre-major. In his spare time, Bodey can be found snowboarding or playing guitar. You can reach him at

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