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“Dear Lynden” — An Outsider’s Perspective (from Jesse Nelson, CEO of Overflow Taps)

Overflow Taps co-owners Adam Stacey, Josh Libolt and Jesse Nelson at an outdoor event.

Editor’s Note: ourLynden was started with a vision to connect and sustain community in Lynden by sharing inspiring and positive stories happening around us. We’re encouraged to hear of Jesse’s experience of being welcomed with open arms, despite his worry about connecting to a new community. We know others who feel that Lynden is a hard place to be a newcomer. Our hope is that you’ll be encouraged to meet new Lyndenites and be intentional in welcoming them to town. If you’re wondering where to start, Overflow Taps may be just the spot to meet someone new! Here’s your letter from Jesse:


Dear Lynden,

About eight years ago I met my beautiful wife Kristen on a birthday run. She is from Lynden and is the sole reason I came to know you. At that point in my life, I was pretty confident I would never marry. I realize now that the decision was not mine to make. It was made for me via some master plan. I believe Overflow Taps and ultimately solving the global water crisis is a part of that plan as well.

“When I first moved here, I was a bit worried about whether or not I’d fit in… You welcomed me with open arms.”

When I first moved here, I was a bit worried about whether or not I’d fit in. That it might be difficult to feel connected with a community I’ve never been a part of. Without you, I would have never met my business partners and friends, Adam Stacey and Josh Libolt. You welcomed me with open arms. You invited me into your home and showed me so much love and kindness. In very much the same way, you have extended this generosity to Overflow.

Josh Libolt and Adam Stacey
Kristen and Jesse Nelson

Lynden 125 Beard & Mustache Challenge results!

photos by Alexandra Ann Photography

Noticed more facial hair around Lynden lately?

Today marks the 125th anniversary of Lynden’s official incorporation on March 16th, 1891 — and every 25 years since the men of Lynden have undertaken a beard growing challenge. For this year’s contest, around 40 men grew out their beards and mustaches over a 42-day period, culminating in a judging session this past Saturday at the Inn at Lynden.

Mayor Scott Korthuis has his beard examined by judges and Lynden Chamber director Gary Vis
Mayor Scott Korthuis has his beard examined by judges and Lynden Chamber director Gary Vis

Categories include ‘Overall Grand Champion’, ‘Best Heritage Hair’ (for those who did not start with a clean shave) and ‘Best Clean Shave’ (for those who did).

A newspaper clipping from the 1991 beard growing contest, 25 years ago.
A newspaper clipping from the 1991 beard growing contest, 25 years ago, was on display at this year’s contest.

Careful judging makes for a fun old-time tradition

Participants were judged by Rose DeGroot (owner of Fairway Cafe) and Cliff Fast (long-time barber from Cliff’s Shear Design on the corner of 9th & Front Streets). Speaking of the judging process, Lynden 125 committee chair Karen Kildall said “They had a tough job — the competition was really, really tight. But, in the end, they were able to choose our winners.”

Getting to know ourLynden writer Bailee Mulder

This summer, Lynden-native Bailee Mulder is writing for ourLynden. We asked her a few questions so you could get to know her better:

What were your favorite things about growing up in Lynden?

“Gosh, there are so many things. Just a few – I loved the summers (picking raspberries, running through cow sprinklers, Razz Fest and the Fair), transporting myself everywhere in town by longboard in middle school, and Friday night football games (I graduated from Lynden High School in 2014).

I’m glad I was able to feel comfortable and safe at almost all times here, that’s something that’s really important to me. I loved growing up knowing so many people, like when I graduated I felt like I knew everyone in my class, which isn’t the case for a lot of people.

I love how Lynden is perfectly placed – an hour from the mountains, the water, and just minutes from Canada. It was fun to explore the surrounding areas growing up.

What have you come to appreciate about Lynden since moving to college?

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