Our SeaFeast Story

Founded by the City of Bellingham
Presented by the Port of Bellingham and Haggen Northwest Fresh

Bellingham SeaFeast is an annual two-day festival the third weekend of September. Our mission is to celebrate our:

  • Maritime culture & heritage

  • Thriving working waterfront

  • Enjoyment & conservation of our water resources

  • Commercial fishing & seafood industries

  • Culinary bounty of our corner of the Pacific Northwest

You will leave with a lasting impression and insider knowledge of our little corner of the Pacific Northwest.

An increasing interest in our maritime and fishing sector—and its significant economic impact—led to the creation of SeaFeast. Originally founded on a three-year seed grant from the City of Bellingham Tourism Commission (travel and tourism tax allotments), this signature festival on Bellingham Bay launched in 2016.

Now, SeaFeast is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, supported both by public and private entities throughout Whatcom County and the Pacific Northwest. The City and Port of Bellingham continue their exciting collaboration to redevelop and to intentionally connect downtown with our thriving working waterfront.

The Bellingham/Whatcom County region has three legacy industries at its roots: Agriculture, Forestry and Wood, and Commercial Fishing/Maritime Trades. Bellingham SeaFeast showcases the maritime sector and its booming economic impact locally, regionally, and internationally.

The festival operates through a dedicated Board of Directors, a small staff, and scores of committed volunteers. Additionally, planners have collaborated with stakeholders throughout Whatcom County to support that vision with this festival. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the shores of Bellingham Bay during the third weekend of September. Take a cruise around our website, and feel free to email info@bellinghamseafeast.com with any questions.

Board of Directors

  • Rob Fix, Chair - Port of Bellingham

  • Jay Bornstein, Vice Chair - Bornstein Seafoods

  • Barry Hanson, Treasurer - HUB International

  • Doug Thomas, Immediate Past Chair - Bellingham Cold Storage

  • Ginny Broadhurst -  Salish Sea Institute

  • Casey Diggs - Boundary Bay Brewery

  • Loren Kapp - Commercial Fisherman

  • Ellie Kinley - Lummi Nation

  • Drew Schmidt - San Juan Cruises

  • Tara Sundin, Ex-Officio - City of Bellingham

  • Sandy Ward, Ex-Officio - Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism


Deb & Pete Granger | Founders

With the help and support of her husband, Pete, Debbie Granger is the heart & soul behind Bellingham SeaFeast, seeing the potential for this now premier waterfront festival from the get-go. After a long career as a high school educator in Bellingham Public Schools, Deb managed the Western Regional Aquaculture Center at the University of Washington for over six years. Today at SeaFeast, Deb is focused on recruiting volunteers and securing sponsorship. On a sunny, summer day you can find her standing up high on the gears off of Lummi Island fishing for salmon. You can reach Deb at deb@bellinghamseafeast.com.


Liz Purdy | Executive Director

Liz returned to her Northwest roots to lead SeaFeast in May of 2018, hired as Executive Director in the winter of 2019. She brings a decade of community-based non-profit experience with her; before the salt water lured her to the shores of Bellingham Bay, she worked as a Campaign Organizer for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in Bozeman, Montana and Trout Unlimited in Southeast Alaska. Her favorite waterfront activity is a summer evening run through Boulevard Park with a rewarding Boundary Bay brew at the end. You can reach her via email at liz@bellinghamseafeast.com.


Elma Burnham | Program Manager

Elma’s first involvement with Bellingham SeaFeast began when she volunteered for the inaugural 2016 festival. Her involvement grew from there, and she officially joined the team in February 2018 to plan for the September waterfront weekend. Elma spends each summer in Bristol Bay, Alaska setnetting for sockeye salmon. Once she’s good and tired from the fishing season, she hurries back to soak up the remaining PNW summer and bring SeaFeast to life. Elma is particularly focused on the collaboration with downtown Bellingham and FisherPoets-on-Bellingham-Bay. Her favorite waterfront activity is beachcombing, especially looking for sea glass. You can reach her via email at elma@bellinghamseafeast.com.  

Tiarra Beck | Volunteer Coordinator

We are thrilled to introduce you to our Volunteer Coordinator intern, Tiarra Beck. Tiarra graduated from WWU with her MBA in June and is pursuing a career in event management. She writes, “I love Bellingham and walking the boardwalk on sunny summer days. I’m a huge movie buff, so if you see me around tell me your favorite movie.”



Emily Mueller | Storytelling and Marketing Coordinator

Emily is our newest intern, working with us this summer as the Storytelling and Marketing Coordinator. Emily is originally from Alaska and graduated from WWU this quarter with a degree in Journalism. We are thrilled to have her on the team for SeaFeast 2019!