The Port of Bellingham and Alaska Marine Highway System are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska Marine Highway (aka Alaska Ferry) at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal on September 14, 2013 from 10AM to 4PM. The Saturday festivities include an open house aboard the MV Kennicott, a travel and trade show featuring Alaska communities, kids' activities, music and an anniversary cake.
The M/V Kennicott will be in port for a public open house. Visitors may tour the bridge, dine onboard and visit the gift shop where 50th Anniversary memorabilia will be available for purchase. In the terminal, the Alaska Travel & Trade Show will feature tourism representatives of communities visited by the ferry. The communities include:
- Dutch Harbor
There will also be tourism representatives from the Alaska Marine Highway System, Un-Cruise Adventures, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism and the McDowell Group of Alaska. This is a great opportunity to plan your next adventure to Southeast Alaska.
Originally, the Alaska Marine Highway System's southern port was located in Seattle, not Bellingham. But a Whatcom County multi-year lobbying effort was successful in moving the ferry service north to Bellingham. On October 3, 1989, more than 1,000 people welcomed the arrival of the Alaska Ferry to the Port of Bellingham's newly constructed Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. At noon during this Saturday's anniversary celebration, a group photo of those in attendance will recreate the original photo that was taken during the opening of the terminal in Bellingham 24 years ago.
On Friday, September 13 at 5 PM there's a free screening of KTOO's Alaska Marine Highway at the Pickford Film Center. The one-hour documentary by the Juneau-based station includes filming that was done in Bellingham, plus interviews with locals. Call the Pickford in advance to reserve free tickets (360.738.0735). The free screening is hosted by the Port of Bellingham.