Blaine’s annual opening to the holiday season, held on the first weekend in December, will fill downtown with activities from Friday afternoon through Sunday.
New this year are a holiday art show at Loomis Hall sponsored by the Blaine Boys and Girls Club, a central downtown location for the annual Winterfest arts and crafts show, a yard decorating contest, a tree lighting in Birch Bay and open houses at both the GLM and Dakota Creek wineries.
Back this year are the homemade arts and crafts bazaar at the community center, the annual tree lighting, concert, community carol sing and visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, a free chamber of commerce-sponsored, horse-drawn trolley that will work its way around town Saturday afternoon and the lighted boat parade put on each year by the Semiahmoo Yacht Club.
On Friday, the community center arts and crafts bazaar will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 763 G Street. Blaine Library will host a book sale from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Holiday Art Show at Loomis Hall, a historic local building at 288 Martin Street that has hosted everything from opera to basketball to public dances, runs Friday evening from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Also on Friday night, the Winterfest Arts and Crafts show opens a three-weekend run with an artists’ reception from 5 to 9 p.m. at the former Goff’s Department Store at 674 Peace Portal Drive. GLM Winery at 1678 Boblett Street hosts the first of a three-day open house running Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. each day.
At the center of Birch Bay, CJ’s Beach House, 7878 Birch Bay Drive, will host a community tree lighting ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday. They will provide photo ops with Santa Claus, hot cocoa, cider and candy canes and the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue fire trucks will collect canned goods for the Blaine Food Bank and toys for their Toys for Tots program.
On Saturday the arts and crafts bazaar and the book sale continue for a second day with the same schedule. Winterfest opens its art show and sale Saturday at Goff’s and continues Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. both days and for the next two weekends in December as well.
Also on Saturday, The Blaine Conservatory presents its “Children’s Nutcracker Fantasy” at 2 p.m. at North Bay Christ The King Church. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 and older.
Dakota Creek Winery’s open house will be held Friday and Saturday at 3575 Haynie Road, three miles east of Blaine, runs from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
At 3 p.m. the horse drawn trolley begins a three and a half hour run downtown, taking people to decorated stores and the community tree lighting set for dusk, 4:15 p.m. on the G Street plaza. Peace Portal Drive will be closed during these hours. Music will be by the Blaine middle school band, and at 4:45 p.m. amid a blaze of lights and sirens Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) engines, one of which is almost as old as Santa himself. Santa will be available for visits at the Winterfest Arts and Crafts show beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday evening’s final event is the traditional parade of lighted ships that can be seen best from the public pier at the west end of Marine Drive. Sponsored by the Semiahmoo Yacht Club and including the restored Plover ferryboat, the parade will marshal just outside the harbor near the site of the old Blaine lighthouse and will then parade into the harbor before ending at the Blaine public visitor’s dock where they may be visited.