As 2019 draws to a close, so too does a year full of fun, community-oriented events at Barkley Village.

Between those put on by Barkley Village, its tenants and other groups, the area hosted more than 60 events this year. Just two years ago, it held only four.

Neal Swanson, Barkley’s vice president of marketing and leasing, says the increase in events this year helps showcase the value of the area for Whatcom County residents.

August’s “Concert on the Green” drew 750 people to Barkley Village. Photo courtesy: Barkley Village

“The village is becoming more active and vibrant,” he says. “It feels more like a neighborhood than just a place to work.”

Barkley Village’s primary event schedule sold a total of more than 12,000 tickets, which brought in $242,000 for local non-profit organizations associated with those events—an increase of $35,000 over 2018. One-hundred percent of ticket sale proceeds went back to those organizations, Swanson says. 

In total, all major Barkley events saw an increase in both attendance and fundraising.

More than 500 folks turned out for the April 21 Easter Egg Hunt—far more than in 2018. That’s especially impressive since it took place on Easter morning, Swanson says. He attended the majority of the primary events this year, and was surprised that none saw an expected dip in attendance.

Barkley tenant Overflow Taps lined Newmarket Street with cornhole boards as part of a fun tournament in August. Photo courtesy: Barkley Village

The April 12 Wine Walk event sold out, raising $12,000 for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS). August 17’s Concert on the Green also sold out, helping 750 people raise $23,500 for Lydia Place.

The latter non-profit was also the beneficiary of the annual Handbags for Housing event on June 6, which saw 700 tickets sold and a staggering $100,000 raised in support of their mission to end homelessness. 

July 21’s Classic Car Show was 2019’s most attended single-day event, attracting 3,000 people and raising $12,000 for local Vietnam veterans. September 21’s Soktoberfest pulled in $3,000—and plenty of warm socks—for the homeless, while September 28’s Food Truck Round-Up raised $40,000 in support of local food banks.

A free electric car ride and drive event, courtesy of Puget Sound Energy, took place in August. Photo courtesy: Barkley Village

Four hundred registered runners competed in October 12’s Salish to Salish 10K, raising $23,000 for Skookum Kids, a non-profit focused on foster children. October 25’s Halloween-themed Spirit Walk, featuring more than a dozen regional distilleries, brought in $13,500 for Brigadoon Service Dogs. A September gala for Generations Early Learning & Family Center helped them raise $15,000, and a summer concert for one of the Village’s tenants, Praise 106.5, brought in 750 people.

Other popular events included June’s Safe Kids Northwest Safety Fair, as well as Overflow Taps’ August cornhole tournament, which lined Newmarket Street with dozens of wooden cornhole boards.

By far, though, Swanson says the biggest addition to Barkley Village this year was the Bellingham Farmers Market, which took place on Wednesday afternoons throughout the summer. The market brought in nearly 2,500 people to support local artisans and business owners, and had a massive impact on Barkley Village’s public perception. 

The Wednesday Bellingham Farmers Market was a huge addition to Barkley Village in 2019, bringing in nearly 2,500 people during the summer. Photo courtesy: Barkley Village

Leah Macaleer, Barkley Village’s community relations coordinator, says recognition of what the village has to offer people took a big step forward in 2019.

“As I’ve been out in the community, it’s been really interesting to hear people’s responses when I start talking about Barkley Village,” she says. “They’re seeing it as a growing and vibrant neighborhood.”

The majority of 2019 events are planned to occur again in 2020, with several yet-to-be-announced additions.

June’s annual Safe Kids Northwest Safety Fair took place in the Regal Cinemas parking lot. Photo courtesy: Barkley Village

In addition to events, 2019 saw the beginning of two significant construction projects in Barkley Village. The Weatherby, a 91-unit apartment complex, is being constructed along Barkley Boulevard, and is slated to open in early 2021. At the corner of Woburn and Premier Way, long-time Barkley tenants Scotty Browns and Barre3 are building a new home to open next year. The building will also house “Ride Culture,” a spin studio.

The near future will also feature on-going improvements to the park area near Regal Cinemas, including a children’s play area.

With 2019 nearly behind us, you can be sure 2020 will bring a whole lot more fun and fundraisers to the Barkley Village neighborhood. For anyone interested in learning more about events in Barkley Village, please visit www.BarkleyVillage.com/events.

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