Lavender Weekend disappoints from years past
I have attended Sequim Lavender Weekend for about five years. I am from out of the area and these are just some observations.
I have attended most of the farms at one time or another and love the experience. Some are large and beautiful and some are small and still beautiful, but easier to get around in a short time. It always has been fun to shop in the farmers’ gift shops and see all of the interesting items for sale from the many vendors at the farms. It always was fun to ride the buses and visit with all the people that would come from it seems, all over the country and different parts of the world. It also was enjoyable to attend the street fair and see all of the items available to see and or purchase.
Unfortunately now it seems the excitement is gone. I have talked to many festival goers as well as vendors and farmers. Now we have Carrie Blake Park with vendors. This keeps more people in town and is very hard on the farms when they depend on attendance at their farms for it to be a profitable weekend. The buses that used to travel to the farms have been discontinued. That was one of the most fun activities, now you say you can’t afford them. Think maybe they were too fancy, maybe use school buses that are sitting idle that time of year?
The farmers also have trouble attracting quality vendors on their farms when they don’t have the attendance they used to. Some farms are pay farms and some are not, and the price for entering pay farms has increased substantially. I also have heard that there is a lot of disagreement within the lavender associations which has caused many problems. One of the most beautiful farms in the valley has been removed from the festival brochures just because they don’t want to be a pay farm and seem to want to run their business in a profitable way. I went to that farm and they seem to have good attendance, maybe they have the right idea.
The hope the infighting and obvious problems with the festival can be corrected soon. Many people I have talked to say they’ll stop coming if it continues. It just isn’t a fun event like it once was.