Birch Bay Drive will come alive this weekend as the 32nd annual Discovery Days celebration brings a parade, an arts and crafts festival and the Ducky Derby race.
Festivities start on Saturday, July 16, with the Discovery Days parade at 11 a.m., which will feature local floats, a color guard and a fire engine, said John Gargett, president of the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce. Parade organizers will be accepting people into the parade line-up until Saturday morning, and Gargett suggested anyone who wants to join in should plan to be in front of the C Shop by 9 or 9:30 a.m.
The parade will start at Alderson Road in front of the C Shop and travel along Birch Bay Drive to Harborview Road. Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies will completely close Birch Bay Drive on the parade route.
Longtime Birch Bay resident and business owner Maxine Beebe will be the grand marshal of this year’s parade. Since she sold the Driftwood Motel in 2005, Beebe said she has enjoyed volunteering in Blaine and Birch Bay and is looking forward to participating in this weekend’s celebration.
“I feel now is Maxine’s time to have fun,” Beebe said.
In addition to the parade, Saturday is the opening of this year’s Birch Bay Arts and Crafts Festival. Also in its 32nd year, the festival will feature about 60 vendors selling food and arts and crafts, including stonework pottery, candles and jewelry. The festival will also have karaoke and other activities for children.
The arts and crafts festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. The festival will be held in the parking lot of the Sealinks Golf Course.
Rounding out the Discovery Days weekend will be the Ducky Derby, a race featuring the fastest rubber ducks this side of the Cascades.
A “chance” that a specific duck will win the race can be bought for $5, and the first 10 to cross the finish line will receive a prize package filled with two or three items from 26 local merchants, Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce director Brian Southwick said.
About 200 chances remain up for grabs, and people can purchase them at the Birch Bay Arts and Crafts Festival all day Saturday and Sunday morning with proceeds going to the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Chances will also be sold at the Birch Bay Visitor Information Center up until the weekend.
The race starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 17. The ducks will be dumped into Terrell Creek off the Bay Rim bridge and float north to the finish line where the creek feeds into Birch Bay.