Annual Dirty Dan Harris Festival

Sunday, April 24, 2016
10:00am - 5:00pm
Free entry | $5 for Chili Cook-off Tastings
Fairhaven Village Green
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Add to Calendar 04/24/2016 10:00 AM 04/24/2016 5:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Annual Dirty Dan Harris Festival Fairhaven Village Green MM/DD/YYYY

It's the annual event to celebrate the "unscrubbed" community founder of Fairhaven, Dirty Dan Harris! There will be loads of fun to be had all day!

  • live music beginning at 10am, with Ryan Sandholm
  • food, information and other vendors
  • family-fun activities such as a fish toss (11:30am) for adults and kids, a donut eating contest (1:30pm) and the legendary Dirty Dan look-a-like & 1800's dress contests
    • Period costumes are encouraged whether you take part in the contest or not; dogs are welcome to this event--especially those dressed for the occasion (but no contest will be held for them, sorry!)
  • the Dan Harris Challenge Rowing Race at nearby Boulevard Park (10am)--for rowers and paddlers of all types, inspired by Dan Harris's cross-border rum-rowing adventures
  • the always exciting high-noon/12pm uphill piano race between teams from area businesses--this year it'll be between Fairhaven Toy Garden, Village Books/Paper Dream, and Fairhaven Tennis Club
  • the "Dirty Dan Sidewalk Saloon" - serving beer and wine to 21+ from 1-5pm.
  • information and historical insight from the Bellingham Steampunk Society, Fairhaven Ladies of the Night, Dirty Dan Harris and others 
  • the Chuckanut Chili Cook-Off: 2-4pm; tickets ($5) will cover a taste of each recipe on hand (prepared and served up by area restaurants), plus a full bowl of your favorite, with a piece of bread alongside; tickets also allow for an opportunity to vote in the People’s Choice contest
  • there will also be a live feed from KAFE Radio

Also happening the same day is the Fairhaven Pooch Scoot 5k at Fairhaven Fitness/Bellingham Tennis (9am), plus the opportunity to witness throwing, hand-building, carving, decorating and raku-firing demos at Good Earth Pottery.

About the Chuckanut Chili Cook-off:

  • Local restaurant chefs (currently signed up to compete are chefs from The Filling Station and Zane Burger (from Fairhaven), plus Aslan Brewing, Bellingham Golf & Country Club, The Sandwich Odyssey,  Acme Diner, Cauldron Bone Broths, Grand Ave Alehouse, and Four Points Sheraton) will cook their preferred chili recipes--20 gallons each.
  • Your ticket will allow a 1-ounce taste of each recipe on hand; once you decide your favorite, you will give your ticket to that restaurant in exchange for an 8oz cup; you'll also get a piece of bread (provided by Great Harvest Bread Company) to enjoy with your selection. 
  • The restaurant with the most tickets wins the People's Choice Award.

A bit of history for you: In 1854, Dan Harris arrived on the shore of Bellingham Bay as a 21-year-old adventurer. He became a legend as a homesteader, land owner, smuggler, hotel owner, and seaman, who founded Fairhaven in 1883. He also picked up the colorful nickname “Dirty Dan” due to his infrequent bathing. Dan’s amazing feats include traveling by rowboat between Fairhaven and Victoria, B.C. A shrewd business man, he once rolled his piano out of the Fairhaven Hotel in 1890 and straight down Harris Avenue into the bay after the hotel’s new owner wouldn’t pay for it.

The Dirty Dan Harris Festival is produced by the Historic Fairhaven Association, a non-profit organization that promotes and preserves the historical character of Fairhaven and also puts on the district festivals. This year's presenting sponsor is Keller Williams Realty.

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