The Holiday Port Festival, held during the first weekend in December, raised $2,000 for the Mt. Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross, with around $1,000 of that coming from a silent auction of gingerbread houses, and the other $1,000 coming from donations at the Red Cross cookies and cider station at the event.
The Festival Food Drive collected 709 pounds of food for the Bellingham Food Bank, with 499 pounds of that collected by port employees and the rest from event patrons.
The Festival’s gingerbread house contest received 86 entries this year from bakers of all ages and abilities. The people’s choice award this year went to Jim Hildenbrand for “Enchantment,” an edible scene that included a castle, a spinning windmill and three town houses. Hildenbrand received a cruise trip for two donated by San Juan Cruises.
This was the 21st Holiday Port Festival and the event continues to grow in popularity each year. The event featured music, dancing and performances by local bands, dance groups and choirs, free horse-drawn wagon and fire truck rides and a gingerbread house display.