Home Community Bellingham SeaFeast Gains New Director

Bellingham SeaFeast Gains New Director

by Eva Seelye

Bellingham SeafeastLiz Purdy was hired as Bellingham SeaFeast’s Executive Director by its Board of Directors in February. The local festival celebrates Whatcom County’s rich maritime history, commercial fishing and seafood industries, its thriving working waterfront and, of course, the Pacific Northwest’s bountiful seafood.

Purdy stated in a press release that she’s honored. “Bellingham SeaFeast represents what I love about living in Whatcom County,” she said. Deborah (Debbie) Granger and her husband Pete Granger “started this event with a vision to showcase the significance of the working waterfront,” Purdy continues. “I intend to carry that vision forward to host a family-friendly celebration with plenty of fresh seafood for an experience that keeps people coming back each year.”

Liz Purdy

Liz Purdy

The festival began in 2016 to increase tourism in the off-season and continues to attract thousands of attendees each year. Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville says that “Bellingham SeaFeast is everything we hoped for when we asked the community for ideas for a new signature event.” According to Debbie Granger, over 6,000 people in Whatcom County have jobs created or supported by the maritime sector.

Purdy has a BA from Gonzaga University and an MA in Sustainable Development, and has spent time living in Southeast Alaska and commercial fishing in Bristol Bay. The SeaFeast Board of Directors Chair and Port Executive Director Rob Fix thinks Purdy is the “ideal candidate to serve as Executive Director for Bellingham Seafeast.” She has “the working waterfront background and event planning experience necessary to hit the ground running and continue to grow attendance at this incredible event.” She worked last year’s festival and, according to Fix, has “proved herself to be a tremendous asset.”

The 2019 Bellingham SeaFeast will take over the city’s streets on September 21 and 22 upon the commercial fishing fleets’ return from their summer season. Learn more about the event at

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