The Whatcom County Old Settlers Association is a not-for-profit organization that consists of an all-volunteer membership. Our primary purpose is the organizing, managing, and running the annual Old Settlers Picnic and Grand Parade, which runs during the last weekend of July from Thursday until Sunday. We also organize the annual Old Settler’s Car Show, Old Settler’s 5k & 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk, and OSA Auction. Proceeds from these events go towards our mission of persevering the memory and heritage of the early pioneers of Whatcom County.
Our organization meets at 7 pm every second Monday of each month (except in December and August) at the Tillicum House in Pioneer Park. Those interested in joining the Whatcom County Old Settlers Association are free to attend one of our monthly meetings. Candidates for membership are required to have lived in Whatcom County for at least 10 years and have attended at least one of our monthly meetings.
Joining the Whatcom County Old Settlers Association
You’ve seen people wearing different colored ribbons during Pioneer Days for years, but do you know the history behind it or the meaning of the ribbons?
The Old Settlers badges show how long you’ve lived in Whatcom County by the color that you receive. Each badge has a Chinook translation on them. This is a tradition that has gone on since the very first picnic.
For just $4 you can purchase a ribbon from the Pioneer Headquarters, just to the left of the main entrance to the park.
Purchasing a ribbon registers you as a member of the Whatcom County Old Settlers Association and helps support future Old Settlers Picnics. Your name is also placed on the Registration and shown in the following year’s program under the year that you first settled in Whatcom County. Please remember to register yourself and your family this year to keep the Old Settlers Picnic operating for our future generations. Also, keep your eyes open in the park so you can see just how long people have lived in this wonderful community!
All the ribbons are shown in this album along with the years of residence they stand for and their Chinook translations.