The “Bellingham World Naked Bike Ride” event will be occurring on Friday June 2 at about 6 p.m. This is touted as being the “9th Annual” occurrence of this ride.
The Bellingham Police Department will contact participants prior to the event and inform them of the applicable law, Title 9A.88.010 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which prohibits “indecent exposure.” Court rules require a citizen complaint prior to enforcement action. If this is the case, those who are in violation of the law will be arrested and cited. According to the law, increased penalties occur if the person exposes himself or herself to a person under 14 years of age, or if the violator has been previously convicted of indecent exposure or of a sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
As with many public events, the police presence is to ensure public safety and that participants comply with applicable laws and ordinances. The police presence, and event monitoring, is not intended to be an endorsement of this event.
Organizers of the 2017 ride have provided the police with the following intended route: South on S. Bay Trail from 903 N. State Street to Wharf Street then north on N. Forest to E. Holly Street. West on E. Holly to Bay/Prospect Street, then Flora to Grand to Central to N. Commercial. The ride continues back to Flora and then east to N. State Street. From there the route goes south to E. Champion turning west to Commercial Street then to E. Magnolia returning to N. State Street to travel to E. Maple Street. The ride then continues west to Cornwall Avenue then north to Flora. The final leg of the ride is south on Railroad Avenue from Flora Street concluding near the area of the Farmer's Market in the 1100 block of Railroad Avenue.
The monthly Downtown Art Walk, which is coordinated by Allied Arts of Whatcom County, is occurring from 6 to 10 p.m. on the same evening as the bike ride event. There are points along the naked bike ride route that will intersect with the Art Walk. We are also aware that the Bellingham Downtown Night Market will be in operation and is near a portion of the intended bike route. The bike event will be concluding near the area of the inaugural Pop-Up Plaza attraction next to the Herald building.