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Cocoa’s picks: Kittens, cabarets and the Bellingham Circus Guild

A curated selection of happenings in Whatcom and Skagit counties

My Circus Valentine returns to the Bellingham Circus Guild with shows taking place Feb. 14–18 at the Cirque Lab in Fairhaven. Expect to see local circus superstars and fabulous visiting artists at the annual celebration of love.
My Circus Valentine returns to the Bellingham Circus Guild with shows taking place Feb. 14–18 at the Cirque Lab in Fairhaven. Expect to see local circus superstars and fabulous visiting artists at the annual celebration of love. (Photo courtesy of Danney Boulet)
By Cocoa Laney Lifestyle Editor


Meowentine’s Day
5–8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, Neko Cat Cafe 1130 Cornwall Ave.

Dinner dates might be a tried-and-true classic on Feb. 14, but if you’re aiming to get a little more creative, Neko Cat Cafe has you covered with their “Meowentine’s Day” special. Couples, friends and singles are equally invited to spend the evening with 25-plus “kitty cupids,” all of whom will be dressed in their Valentine’s Day best.

In addition to 45 minutes of uninterrupted kitty snuggle time, attendees can expect cookies, glittery drinks and a special “pawmade” Valentine. Best of all, many of the kitties at Neko are available for adoption — because at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like the love between humans and their four-legged friends. Info:

Heart by Heart
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. 1st St.

You could give your Valentine hearts in the form of candy or cards — or you could just buy tickets to a Heart show, which in my opinion is way cooler. Original members Steve Fossen and Michael Derosier have re-joined forces as Heart by Heart and are playing the band’s top hits as faithfully as possible. As Fossen said in a news release, “We don’t see it as our task to modify or update these classic tunes that Heart fans love and have listened to all these years.” 

These seasoned rock-‘n’-rollers know how to put on a good show, so whether or not you grew up with Heart’s music, you’re sure to have a good time. Expect to hear all the fan favorites, from “Straight On,” “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man” to my personal favorite, “Barracuda.” (Apologies in advance if “Barracuda” gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day.) Info:

My Circus Valentine
Feb. 14, 16, 17, 18, Bellingham Circus Guild, 1401 6th St.

Ideal Valentine’s Day plans vary from person to person: Some folks prefer romantic getaways, while others prefer quiet nights with home-cooked meals. Some opt for oysters and champagne; others prefer chocolate. And, for some folks, nothing says “I love you” quite like circus performers swinging from aerial hoops in the shape of hearts.

“My Circus Valentine” is more than just the Bellingham Circus Guild’s longest-running show — it’s a beloved V-Day tradition for couples, singles and families across Whatcom County. This week, the unfailingly creative showcase is back for its 15th year to celebrate love in all its forms.

Tickets will likely go fast, so make sure to register in advance. Some performances are all-ages, whereas others (including the Valentine’s Day show) are 21-plus; make sure to double-check your ticket for details. Info:

Valentines Love Cabaret
6:45–8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, Amendment 21 bar in the Hotel Leo, 1224 Cornwall Ave.
The band Soul*drift, pictured at Amendment 21 in the Hotel Leo. Soul*drift will be performing at the Valentines Love Cabaret on Friday, Feb. 16. (Photo courtesy of Julie Trimingham)

If you’re searching for a unique date night idea the weekend after Valentine’s Day, this speakeasy-style event could be just the ticket. Hosted at the Hotel Leo, the Valentines Love Cabaret aims to pay homage to “the inclusive, good-time spirit” of Berlin’s cabarets circa 1920–30, as well as Amendment 21’s Prohibition-era atmosphere.

The evening is co-hosted by drag king Feather Fatale and Julie Trimingham. There will also be musical performances by the band Soul*drift, plus tap dancing by The Dance Studio’s Lacey Thompson and Amber Weatherly. Finally, audiences will be invited to share a 60-second love story of their own, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Bellingham Queer Collective. Info:  

Some Stars of Native American Comedy
7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

This fan-favorite event is returning to Mount Baker Theatre with a new lineup of Indigenous comedians. Topics explored include everything from life on and off the reservation to “dreamcatchers in cars to powwow dating politics.” Every performer is an established name in the comedy world and offers a unique perspective on Indigenous culture. The result is a dynamic, entertaining and uproariously funny night out.

Jokes are delivered from a Native American point of view, but audiences of all backgrounds are invited to take part in the fun. You’re guaranteed to have a good laugh — but you also might learn a thing or two about Indigenous culture in the process. Info:

Live Cabaret: Risqué Renegades present ‘Love Struck’
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. 1st St.

Let’s briefly return to the subject of cabarets, shall we? Friday’s Jazz Era-inspired cabaret is more romantic than risque, while this nouveau burlesque cabaret is slightly more provocative in nature — but probably not for the reasons you think. Audiences are in for an evening of dancing, laughter, self-empowerment and so much glitter.

Presented by local Bellingham troupe the Risqué Renegades, the performance is equally appropriate for a date night or girl’s night out. Those unfamiliar with contemporary burlesque might assume these shows to be tailored to the male gaze only — but the Renegades are out to prove otherwise. In their performances, body positivity, self-love and “sparkly satire” are equally as important as sex appeal. Info:

Events compiled by contributor Maya Heinselman.


Thursday, Feb. 8

Northstar Comedy Night
8 p.m., Ramble Tamble, 1313 N. State St.

Check out Ramble Tamble as Nikki Kilpatrick and Venus Comedy Products host a fast-paced comedy open-mic. Whether you’re a comedian looking for an outlet or just somebody who loves to laugh, join in for a night of boisterous entertainment and the chance to see Ben Menard and Seattle’s own Jay Markovitz live. Info:

‘The Knight of the Burning Pestle’
7:30 p.m., Idiom Theater, 1417 Cornwall Ave.

Idiom’s biggest production of the season will take the stage from Feb. 8 to March 2. A 7th-century satire written by a friend of Shakespeare’s, this play is chivalrous, whimsical and utterly chaotic all at once. Get ready to laugh until it hurts, because this play will give you the comedic catharsis you didn’t know you needed. Info:

Friday, Feb. 9

Far From Par Disc Golf Grand Opening
9 a.m., Far From Par Disc Golf, 2404 Elm St., Suite 102

Disc golf enthusiasts gather ‘round to celebrate the grand opening of Far From Par’s new brick-and-mortar store. Daisey James and Matt Gegner, the company’s founders, are sharing their passion for disc golf with amateurs and professionals alike, offering anything you might need for your own disc golf competitions. This disc golf pro shop is the first to open in Whatcom County. Info:

Saturday, Feb. 10

Mason Bee Keeping
10 a.m., Garden Spot Nursery, 900 Alabama St.

Ever wanted to learn how to care for your favorite pollinators? Well, Garden Spot Nursery has the perfect class for you. Doug Banner will help take you through the steps of setting up your own Mason bee home in your own backyard and help you get ready to raise your own Mason bees this season. Info:

Intro to Sewing Class
2-3:30 p.m., Bellingham Makerspace, 1 Bellis Fair Parkway, Suite 618

Learn some sewing basics as expert Jeanette Clark walks you through making your own pillowcase. This is the perfect time to learn how to both hand and machine sew while creating your own unique piece. Take these helpful tips with you as you go on to sew your own designs. Info:

Fifty Shades of Velvet
9:30 p.m., The Upfront Theatre, 203 Prospect St

The Upfront Theatre is hosting an improvised romance novel where the audience helps control the story. This “(awkwardly) sensual and (hilariously) passionate” improv set will leave you feeling the perfect mix of love and laughter you’re looking for this Valentine’s Day. Join in the fun by shouting your own suggestions for the improv team. Info:

Sunday, Feb. 11

‘Documenting Grace: Dancing Man’
3 p.m., FireHouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates was a revolutionary figure for both Black Americans and people with disabilities. This documentary shows how this tap dancer and entrepreneur went from being a Southern minstrel to shooting to stardom as a regular on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” not to mention becoming a household name in the process. Info:

FIG Artist’s Corner: Pacita Abad
12–4:30 p.m., Family Interactive Gallery, 250 Flora St.

Filipina artist Pacita Abad is known for using a variety of colors and materials in her artwork. In the FIG Studio, you’ll have a chance to channel Abad yourself and try out new mediums to create your own mixed-media art. Join the Studio’s Artist’s Corner to celebrate and explore Abad’s works of art. Info:

Planting a Dye Garden in the Pacific Northwest
2–3 p.m., Northwest Yarns & Mercantile, 1401 Commercial St.

Northwest Yarns presents a class to help you cultivate dye plants to create your own dyes. The plants covered are all easy to grow in the Pacific Northwest, so get ready to fill your gardens. Not only will you learn about how to grow these dye plants, but you’ll also learn about the rich history behind them. Info:

Monday, Feb. 12

Cardboard Confections: Student Art and Sweet Books
Whatcom Community College, 310 W. Kellogg Road

Whatcom Community College Art Department and Library present a collection of student art mixed with books featuring delectable treats. The pastries, sweets, and other confections of these books provide a kind of mouth-watering entertainment, while the student art balances it out with a thoughtful component in this collaborative showcase. Info:

Kreate with Kara
5:30–7:30 p.m., COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria, 1810 Riverside Drive

The artist known as Kreate with Kara is here to guide you through a step-by-step painting lesson. Take a seat, grab a canvas and join this 21+ group of artists all looking to paint their own masterpieces just in time for Valentine’s Day. Info:

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Longevity Stick Class
2–3 p.m., Center for Spiritual Living, 2224 Yew Street Road

Longevity Stick exercises are composed of 12 different movements designed to enhance balance, strength, vitality and more. These low-impact exercises are a great way to stay fit and focused in your everyday life. Concentrate on keeping your mind and body healthy through these fundamental exercises. Info:

Fat Tuesday with Pace Trumpet
7-9:30 p.m., Hotel Leo Crystal Ballroom, 1224 Cornwall Ave.

The Hotel Leo is hosting a social dance with live music by Pace Trumpet, so get ready to don your dancing shoes and show off your best moves. And if you’re needing a quick lesson beforehand, be sure to stop in early for a beginner dance lesson guided by Damian Cade and Stephanie Lee Demetreon. Info: and www.B’

Wednesday, Feb. 14

‘The Age of Love’
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St.

Modern dating advice is often aimed at people young enough to go on a show like “Love Island” — but that doesn’t mean older adults should be excluded for the conversation. Presented by the Bellingham Senior Activity Center at the Pickford Film Center, “The Age of Love” is a documentary exploring speed dating among seniors in Rochester, New York. The film was even awarded a Fledgling Fund grant for its “potential to change American culture” by challenging stereotypes, and its message is relevant to audiences of all ages. Info:

4–5:30 p.m., Western Washington University, 516 High St., SMATE Building

Learn how to repair broken pots through Kintsugi, the Japanese art of putting broken pieces of pottery back together using gold, to create a pot even more extraordinary. Then, plant tulip bulbs right into your newly reconstructed pot! This is a great way to reduce the amount of waste generated on Valentine’s Day: by reusing an old pot and gifting a potted flower that is sure to last longer than a bouquet. Info:

Thursday, Feb. 15

BEA Winter 2024 After-Hours Social
5:30–7:30 p.m., Larrabee Lager Co., 4151 Meridian St, Suite 100

The Bellingham Executives Association is hosting a get-together for professionals from all callings to forge new connections. Advantageous networking and lighthearted camaraderie will mix for individuals to explore opportunities for collaboration and the ideas they will be able to exchange in this after-hours event. Info:

Friday, Feb. 16

Date Night Wine Tasting
6:30 p.m., Semiahmoo Resort, 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway

Stay at Semiahmoo Resort for a quick getaway (or a whole weekend) to taste a series of wines paired with snacks from Semiahmoo’s culinary crew during this Valentine’s edition of Semiahmoo Sips. Tickets are $50 per guest, and space is limited. Info:

Saturday, Feb. 17

‘God is a Scottish Drag Queen’
7:30 p.m., Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St.

The winner of 18 “Best of Fest” awards across North America, “God is a Scottish Drag Queen” is “an unforgettable comedy of biblical proportions”. A lovable, yet vulgar Scottish deity is ready to talk about his role as God while poking fun at pop culture along the way. Info:

Annual Sweetheart Dinner
6–8 p.m., Ferndale Alliance Church, 6100 Church Road

Youth students from the Ferndale Alliance Church are happy to host couples for a Fiesta-themed date night. Throw on your brightest colors, grab your significant other, and get ready to enjoy some dinner, dessert and even take part in a raffle to win items donated by Whatcom County businesses. Info:

Sunday, Feb. 18

Corner Sip & Paint
2-4 p.m., Corner Taphouse, 1125 Finnegan Way, Suite 103

Take a seat with your favorite drink as you create your very own masterpiece based on the work of Gustav Klimt, a symbolist painter who often focused on sensual themes. Whether you’re new to painting or an expert, you won’t want to miss the liveliness that is sure to stick at this Sip & Paint. Info:

Before heading out to attend in-person happenings, check with individual venues to make sure the event is still taking place as scheduled.

The A-List appears weekly. To submit an event for consideration, email

Cocoa Laney is CDN’s lifestyle editor; reach her at; 360-922-3090 ext. 128.

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