The Everson Nooksack Summer Festival just might squeeze more events into three days than nearly any other small-town festival.
This year’s festival is July 12 to July 14. Running since the 1980’s, the annual festival has grown to include music, games and many other events alongside the traditional vendors in City Park and the Main Street parade.
“The festival itself brings out just about everybody from the community, not to mention folks all over Whatcom County that like to come and enjoy,” says Dan MacPhee, president of the Everson Nooksack Chamber of Commerce and the chair of the annual summer festival—not to mention the Everson and Nooksack police chief.
The festival kicks off on Friday at 10:00 a.m. and events run through Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Most of the festivities take place in Everson City Park behind Everson City Hall. It is hosted by the Everson Chamber of Commerce.
MacPhee has been involved in the annual event since 2012. Originally he was the food chair, organizing the vendors that set up in the park each year. They try to host a variety of food vendors to limit competition between them and offer attendees a variety of options, MacPhee says. He has held his current role as chair of the festival for the last four years.
The food vendors in City Park are joined by almost two dozen craft vendors, selling a variety of art and handmade wares. All the vendors set up from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The other main festival event, the parade down Main Street, takes place Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Between 60 and 70 groups enter the parade each year. The entries themselves range from local school bands to animal floats to local politicians that ride in their cars, as well as floats associated with local businesses. Police, fire and military veterans also walk or ride in the parade.
“There’s a whole wide variety of different kinds of floats, trucks and different businesses that get involved,” MacPhee says.
Each year, three floats are awarded ribbons for first, second and third place. The judging is done by three community volunteers chosen by the parade chair, Scott Mitchell. About one half hour before the parade starts, volunteers walk around to each float and make their decisions.
On Friday and Saturday nights, the festival hosts live music in City Park. This year, Still Kickin’, a local classic rock band that specializes in covers of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Who, will play from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday night. On Saturday, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., local country musician Joe Harkness Hanson will take the stage.
Outside of City Park, the festival includes a two-day three-on-three kids basketball tournament. The event has grown in popularity in the last few years, MacPhee says, drawing up to 50 teams from around the county. The kids range in age from elementary to middle-school age, and the tournament is open to both boys and girls.
“That’s always a really exciting event,” MacPhee says.
The festival also includes a book sale at the McBeath Library, a senior’s pancake breakfast Saturday morning, a car show and shine, softball tournament, horseshoe tournament and bouncy castles. For a full schedule of events, visit the Everson Chamber of Commerce website.
“We try to have a little bit of everything for everybody,” MacPhee says.