The end of lavender?
The letter to the editor, “Lavender Weekend disappoints from years past” by Rick McUne of Cashmere, Wash., (“Letters to the Editor,” Sequim Gazette, July 23, page A-11), was right on the money. Having volunteered with the unified Lavender Festival folks for a number of years and then the farmers’ group for a year, I can see and feel the difference between the former Lavender Festival of years ago, and the Sequim Lavender Growers Association and Sequim Lavender Farmers Association events.
While the downtown scene at the Lavender Growers seemed as busy as usual, the Lavender Farmers group at Carrie Blake Park was quiet with just a few visitors and most venders sitting in their booths without customers. Charging for parking near Carrie BlakePark didn’t seem to help the situation, as well as discontinuing the hayride to the park from the parking area.
I did hear a couple of visitors indicate they missed the bus ride system to the Lavender Farmers’ farms.
I couldn’t find anywhere online or in the Gazette when music groups were performing at Carrie Blake Park. Based on traffic in the area over the weekend, it seemed the traffic was not as congested as previous years. I also didn’t see any mention of the estimate of visitors to the Lavender Weekend events in the Sequim Gazette, although my guess is that the numbers were significantly lower.
Lavender Weekend is the premier event to draw visitors to our area and support our local businesses. We my have the name “Lavender Capitol of the USA” but it becomes meaningless if visitors like Mr. McUne don’t visit during Lavender Weekend in years to come.
Is Sequim about to lose its premier tourist event due to lack of visitors? If it does, businesses in our community will suffer significantly.