The City of Ferndale held its first-ever “Summer of Fun” series in 2017, hosting a variety of events aimed at getting people out to the city’s many parks.
For me, the most memorable event in the series was the solar eclipse viewing party held Aug. 21 of that year.
That partial solar eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for people in Whatcom County, and yet there weren’t any events planned for people to take part in the celestial event together.
The city pulled something together, got 50 extra pairs of viewing glasses and brought in two former NASA employees (one of whom has been to space multiple times) to talk to visitors about the science of the solar eclipse.
This past Monday, the hottest day in Ferndale’s recorded history, Whatcom County Fire District #7 and the City of Ferndale pulled another event together, this one aimed at combatting the remarkable heat seen around Western Washington over the course of several days.
They launched water from the fire department’s ladder truck onto Ferndale residents and visitors hoping for a bit of refreshment on this blistering hot day.
One of the most striking facets of these events is the fact that they are free.
The city puts on an annual Summer of Fun just like the one in 2017, albeit without a historic solar eclipse, annually, and each year is packed full of events aimed at bringing people to Ferndale’s parks to have fun.
Participants weren’t asked to pay for the eclipse glasses or the water spewing forth from the ladder truck or the water bottles handed out by Mayor Greg Hansen.
These are purely to show people the magic and majesty right in their own backyards.
I like to imagine someone passing through Ferndale on the Interstate 5 corridor and deciding to turn off on the Main Street exit.
Maybe they want to explore or see a new place, and as they head for the visitor center at the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce, they see a field full of people preparing to view an eclipse, or getting soaked by gallons and gallons of refreshingly cold water.
That a sight that would be, and what a draw to such a lovely little city!
I hail from Lynden originally, but Ferndale is in my blood. My mom attended Custer Elementary School and stayed in the Ferndale School District until she graduated from Ferndale High School.
My grandma lives right on my route from Lynden to Ferndale, a drive I make at least three times each week.
I feel inexorably connected to Ferndale, and in that connection I find a strange sense of pride for a city that makes such strong efforts year in and year out to simply bring some joy to its citizens.
I hope other cities around the county and elsewhere can implement similar events to the ones seen in Ferndale each summer.
They brighten the season and bring with them a great deal of joy, and you can never have too much of those.