Party Etiquette

Bellingham is a fantastic town with many opportunities to meet new and amazing people and make lasting connections. This is the City of Subdued Excitement – we like to have fun but we keep it respectful, safe, and responsible! The best fun is the fun you can remember, the kind without regrets and hangovers. No matter how old you are or whether or not you choose to consume alcohol or marijuana, there are some great ways to have fun in this town. Just remember to keep it safe, subdued, and responsible!

Under 21 and/or Looking for an Alcohol-free Experience?

There are a lot of great events happening on Western’s campus and in the community at any given time. The hardest part is deciding! We have compiled a list of great calendars and sources of entertainment to help your decision.

WWU's Events Calendar

Associated Students' Calendar of Events

Cascadia Weekly Calendar

What's Up! Calendar: Bellingham's Music Magazine is a great way to find out about shows!

Planning to Host or Attend a Party in a Bellingham Neighborhood?

If you plan to host or attend a party in one of Bellingham’s fine neighborhoods, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure things go smoothly and you and your friends are being respectful of your neighbors and fellow party-goers! We have put together some infographics to help you have a great time.

Hosting a Party Infographic

Want to print or save this infographic? Download our 8.5"x11" version

Hosting Party Infographic

Attending a Party Infographic

Want to print or save this infographic? Download our 8.5"x11" version

Attending a Party Infographic

21 or Over and Want to Check out Some Great Bars, Clubs, or Breweries?

Don’t act any different in a bar or club than you would in a restaurant or coffee shop. Here’s a little video to show you what we mean:

"A Night on The Town"

The Bellingham nightlife can be pretty amazing. Before you head out on the town, there are some things you should be aware of in order to get the most out of your evening. These tips from bar staff, law enforcement and Western students will help keep you safe and ensure mutual respect from bartenders and bar safety staff:

  • Find a bouncer if a customer is bugging you or if you feel unsafe. Don’t take matters into your own hands – bouncers are trained to deal with difficult situations and people, let them do their job!
  • You, and everyone in your group, must have your ID every time. 95% of Western students under 21 do not have a fake ID. Bar staff in Bellingham are up on the trends in fake ID use, so don’t even try to get in a bar with a fake ID – it won’t work and it’s not worth it.
  • Bars have to cut you off if you are drunk. Keep track of how much and what you are drinking, make sure to eat during or before you go out, and don’t forget to drink water!
  • Always keep an eye on your drink and don’t accept a drink from anyone if you didn’t see the bartender make it!
  • Tip your bartender!
  • Your friends reflect on you. Being respectful and patient in a bar will help everyone have a better time and get quicker service!
  • Travel with friends and stay with your group.
  • Never start a fight in our outside a bar.
  • Can’t decide whether to have another drink? Don’t. Have a glass of water or a snack instead!
  • Take a cab or alternative transportation. Don’t put yourself and others at risk. Think about your friends and family and don’t drive after drinking! There are lots of alternatives to driving! Pick one before you go out:
    • WTA Transit
    • Western Student Shuttle (you can't ride the shuttle if you appear intoxicated or under the influence of other drugs)
    • Blue Cab: 360.734.3787
    • Yellow Cab: 360.733.8294
    • Bellingham Taxi: 360.220.4990
    • Designated Drivers Taxi: 360.201.0700
    • Sober Rovers: 360.734.9111
  • Don't hesitate to call 911 if you feel unsafe or if you or someone in your group shows signs of alcohol poisoning.
    • Washington’s 911 Overdose Good Samaritan Law states, if you think someone’s overdosing or has alcohol poisoning and you seek medical help for the victim, neither of you will be charged for possessing or using drugs or for minor in possession.
Page Updated 11.22.2017