Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival opens Thursday night

“In February The Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival returns for its 20th year of presenting films, hosting speakers and dialogue promoting human rights and advocacy on issues that affect us globally, nationally and locally. This award-winning community event is free and features 28 films held at venues throughout Bellingham and Whatcom County. The opening night films are “Salmon People” and “Damned to Extinction” on February 20 shown at 6:30 p.m. at the Pickford Film Center.  A reception and silent auction to raise funds for the festival will start at 5:45 p.m. and is open to all.  Fo”

Super Bowl Deals

Super Bowl 54. Niners and Chiefs. J-lo and Shakira. Every bar with a TV will have the game on, but some places are going the extra mile to tempt you.

Extremes Sports Grill will have a $14 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet,  Jell-O shots and swag give-aways.

Gruff Brewing is having discounts on beer all day, and free pizza at half time.

122 West Brewing will have appetizer specials and $3 pints of select beers in addition to their regularly scheduled all-day Sunday happy hour.

Annnd speaking of happy hour, a whole passel of bars have happy hour all day on Sunday, and this will be no exception. You can find them in our very own Happy Hour Guide.

Bellingham Cocktail Week February 1-9

The 5th annual Bellingham Cocktail Week is more focused on the industry than in previous years. There will be a slew of tasting events, a couple of industry mixers, a bartending competition, a distillery expo, and a closing night gala that’s sure to be a bar owners convention.

There’s still plenty on the party side for civilians, though, and the tastings offer a great learning opportunity for anyone who wants to broaden their palate. With 29 participating establishments, there really is something for everyone.

There’s a full schedule on the BCW website, and individual events are also on our Bellingham on Tap events calendar. Cheers!

Whatcom Reads to host a flurry of book events

Author Eowyn Ivey
Author Eowyn Ivey. Courtesy photo.

Every year, Whatcom County’s public and academic libraries, and Village Books, join forces to organize Whatcom Reads, a community reading experience centered on one book. This year’s pick is “To the Bright Edge of the World,” by Alaska native and Western Washington University graduate Eowyn Ivey. Events around the county will zoom in on various aspects of the book, from maps to taxidermy, leading up to Ivey’s visit to Bellingham in March. See the full schedule on the Whatcom Reads website.

To learn more about Ivey, check out John Thompson’s 2017 article in Window on Western.

Bars open on Christmas

At some point you’re going to want to leave the house. Here are the places to go, listed in order of opening time.

The Waterfront
521 W. Holly St., opens at 8am
Serves fish and chips, burgers, bar snacks

Greene’s Corner
2208 James St., open 10am-6pm
Serves pizza, sandwiches, breakfast all day

Glynn’s Shamrock Pub
5309 Guide Meridian, opens at noon

Rumors
1119 Railroad Ave., opens at 4pm

State St. Bar,
1315 State St., opens at 4pm
Serves chicken strip baskets, bar snacks

Galloway’s
1200 10th St., open 5pm-11pm
Serves fancy snacks

McKay’s Taphouse
1118 Maple St., open 5pm-10pm
Serves pizza

Uisce
1319 Commercial St., opens at 6pm

1-Up Lounge
1121 McKenzie Ave., opens at 7pm
Serves bar snacks

Cap Hansen’s
209 E. Chestnut St., opens at 8pm
Karaoke with Zach

Wild Buffalo
208 W. Holly St., opens at 9pm
Karaoke with Aireekah

Bellingham Nightlife News

Rook and Rogue closing at end of year

The owners of Rook and Rogue Game Pub have announced that December 31 December 8 will be their last day of operations unless a buyer comes forward. The bar has apparently been running at a loss for its entire run. UPDATE: Closure has been moved up to December 8.

Saturday night karaoke at Red Rum

Red Rum has added a second Freaky Tiki Karaoke night on Saturday at 11pm, so now you can sing in its tropical environs on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Station Social House closed

Observers recently happened upon the body of the Station Social House. The establishment had apparently been dead for some time, unnoticed.

Late-night industry happy hour at the Cabin

The Cabin is now open nightly until 2am, with happy hour prices plus $5 Fernet shots for fellow bar kids.

L&L Libations open

Leaf & Ladle’s bar annex, L&L Libations, has opened one door south of the restaurant. They’re open daily at 4pm.

Bellingham Halloweekend, Part 1

by June Hathaway

It’s time for Halloween, round one. With the holiday falling on a Thursday, you might expect the festivities to cluster on the weekend after. But Halloween is a season now, so we get two weekends of horrible hijinks. (This isn’t a comprehensive listing of spooky events – there’s too much going on for that! See every single accursed adult activity at the Bellingham on Tap Events Calendar.)

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Bleedingham Horror Movie Festival

For the eighth year, Bleedingham celebrates homegrown horror.

The Night Gallery
Friday 5-10pm at the Majestic, free/by donation

Bleedingham’s opening night party features a delightfully dark and otherworldly gathering of artists, crafters, writers, ghost hunters, tarot, and more.

Movie Screenings
Best Feature: Saturday 3pm at the Limelight, $9
International Films and Creepy Cornucopia (shorts): Sunday 1:15pm at the Pickford, $11

Halloween Spirit Walk

Friday 5:30-9pm, Barkley Village, tickets $40

Celebrate the season with spirits from ten different regional distilleries, a haunted outdoor beer garden, and live music from Tom Petty tribute band Petty or Not.

Haunted House at Boundary Bay

Friday and Saturday at Boundary Bay Brewery, $5 for 6-9pm all ages version, $10 for super scary 21+ version from 9-11pm

The 5th annual Nightmare on Railroad in the Boundary Bay Brewery FEAR Garden benefits the Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY).

Make.Shift Halloween Cover Show V: The Final Showdown

Friday 6:30pm, at Make.Shift, $10

The last ever Make.Shift Halloween Cover Show (sobs).

3rd Annual Beastly, Frightful, Unspeakably Spooky Circus of Doom

Friday 7pm (21+). Saturday 6pm (all ages) and Saturday 9pm (21+,) Sunday 4pm (all ages), at the Cirque Lab, $18 advance (12 hours prior to show) $23 at door.

Hosted by Deanna Fleysher of Butt Kapinski fame, this show aims to tickle your funny bone and give you the heebie-jeebies.

Lounge Hard: Lushy Trio and the Di Young Combo

by June Hathaway

Making plans for the weekend? This is Western Washington University’s back-to-school week, and there’s a lot going on!

You could go hard at the Back 2 Bellingham festival, a three-night untz-travaganza of dance music and blue shots.

But maybe you’re feeling a bit, let’s say, mature for such carryings-on. If that’s the case, head on down to the Red Rum Tiki Lounge this Saturday and lounge hard with Seattle’s Lushy Trio and locals the Di Young Combo.

The Lushy Trio at a tiki bar that is not Red Rum.

The Lushy Trio is the crunchy core of Lushy, a five piece that’s been playing “progressive cocktail” music around the Northwest for two decades. Appearing Saturday are singer Annabella Kirby backed by Matt Nims and Andy Sodt, who’ve played with erstwhile Bellingham bands Applied Science, the Sharx, and Tiny Hat Orchestra.

While Di Young often plays as a two-piece, with singer Diana Young-Blanchard (formerly of the DTs) accompanied by Aaron Smith on guitar, Saturday’s show will include bassist Anna Burl Jull and drummer Stephanie Straight.

With its low lighting, exotic drinks, and decor out of a tropical fever dream, Red Rum is a great place to take in a show. And with a 6pm start time, you can head home afterwards at a sensible adult bedtime. Alternately, you can stay downtown and enjoy the mayhem. Life is full of choices!

Rock the Block: Art Walk, Adult Swim & more

Lace up your walking shoes and polish the schmutz off your sunglasses, because we’ve got a perfect storm of sidewalk mingling coming up.

Thursday, August 1: Rock & Vote

State Street businesses will have food and drink specials, plus voter registration tables, in support of Hollie Huthman, city council candidate and owner of the Racket/Shakedown. It’s all happening in the vicinity of State and Chestnut from 4 to 7pm. At 7:30, pop into the Shakedown to see Hollie’s band, Dryland, with Stereo Donkey opening.

Friday, August 2: Downtown Art Walk

Drink art! See wine! Downtown sidewalks come alive every first Friday for the Downtown Art Walk, and this Friday will be no exception. 6-10pm,

Saturday, August 3: Endless Summer Block Party

Head to Stone’s Throw Brewing in Fairhaven for music from the Brittany Collins Band and Groovebot, food trucks, and, of course, beer. The event is free, but you’ll have the opportunity to toss a few bucks in the direction of Recreation Northwest. 11am-9pm.

Sunday, August 4: Adult Swim Block Party

Gruff Brewing and Boundary Bay Brewery are joining forces to benefit Shifting Gears, and they want to get you wet in the process. To that end, there’ll be squirt guns, bubble machines, water balloons, and slippery yard games. DJs and food trucks will round out the dry side of the bill. Noon-4pm.

Downtown Sounds update -location change for Rebirth Brass Band

Last week’s Downtown Sounds show got doused by a summer downpour. Taking no chances, organizers have moved this week’s show, featuring New Orleans legends the Rebirth Brass Band, to the drier, but still outside-ish, environs of the Depot Market. The aptly named Raincity opens.

Downtown Sounds will be back on Bay Street as usual next Wednesday.

Downtown Sounds, July 17, 5pm
Rebirth Brass Band and Raincity
Depot Market Square, 1100 Railroad Ave.