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Rain falls on purple parade
All they need is sun.
For the second year, wet weather doused a portion of the Sequim Lavender Weekend, July 20-22.
Just over half an inch (0.55 inches) fell over the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire and Sequim Lavender Festival with mostly dry skies on Saturday.
Scott Nagel, executive director of the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, said the whole weekend went fairly well except for the weather.
“We just need three days of regular old sunshine,” he said.
Nagel said everything in their control did go well with a good turnout on Saturday, Lavender in the Park, the bus system and informational booths.
“Lavender was in full bloom and it looked wonderful and the spirit and energy at the park and farms felt good,” he said.
Monica Quevedo, co-owner of Lost Mountain Lavender, said everything went great in spite of the weather.
“Quite a few people come on saturday,” she said.
“The weather kind of put a damper on things, but for our first year (on the Heritage Farms on Tour) we feel good. We're still seeing people come who want to beat the crowds.”
She plans to begin harvesting lavender at the end of the week.
Mary Jendrucko, executive director of the Sequim Lavender Growers Association, said the Lavender Festival's attendance is always excellent.
“Using the shoulder-to-shoulder measurement to gauge attendance, the street fair aisles were packed again this year,” she said.
Susan Zuspan, owner of Let’s Do Lavender, said the street fair went well despite the rain.
She and her family used carpeting to deter rain from their tent, and their sales were good.
“Absolutely worth it 100 percent,” she said. “I will be back.”
Jendrucko said their free-admission farms saw high traffic, too.
The effort to limit confusion between two lavender events was tackled early on by the City of Sequim, which issued mandates to the groups before permits were given out.
Many people were seen using joint maps that explained the difference between the free and paid-admission farms.
Nagel spoke highly of the city's efforts.
“People are still confused over a few things, but it’s lessened,” he said. “It will take a while. Not everybody goes to an information booth.”
Jendrucko said there wasn't any confusion at the lavender festival. “Our marketing worked,” she said. “When it involves quality, branding and convenience for the visitors, rain and a little overcast is not going to stop them from coming.”
Paul Jendrucko, media relations for the lavender festival, said he checked in with nearby information booths and people were appreciative.
Still a tourist attraction
Sequim's cool weather was a comfortable reprieve from scorching temperatures for Steve Jagosh and Darlene Fuchs, from near Springfield, Ill. They came to visit his brother, Jimmy Jagosh, a recent Sequim transplant from Vancouver, Wash., whose friend, Sydney Jackson, took them all to Sequim Lavender Weekend events.
"I'm enjoying the rain and I think we've had excellent weather," Fuchs said. As for all that lavender, she added, "I love it. I love it all. I've got the soap and sachets."
Jackson said she's attended the festival since it began and counts herself lucky to see lavender fields almost every day. The quartet's first stop was Port Williams Lavender Farm where they danced to the
country music of Denny Secord & Band.
Ederlina Fidel, of Chicago, Ill., first read about the Sequim lavender fields in Country Living magazine and in 2008 saw it for herself during the Lavender Festival.
"We don't have to go to Provence!" She told her daughter on their first trip to Sequim, referring to the lavender fields of France.
At the time, her daughter was studying linguistics at a Chicago college but after visiting Sequim decided to look into attending the University of Washington, Fidel said.
After transferring to U.W., her daughter continued to attend the Lavender Festival with her mom.
Fidel said she attends all three days of the Lavender Weekend events, driving out each morning from Seattle, and returns later in the summer for another round when there aren't crowds.
This year, she decided to put her house on the market in Chicago so she can move to Sequim permanently.
"This is so serene," she said, looking around at Jardin du Soleil. "It's a renewal of my spirit."