The beating sun didn’t seem to deter the masses for too much of Sequim Lavender Weekend on July 17-19.
Locals and visitors alike took in the sights and sites of Sequim’s biggest event snapping countless photos in the lavender, musing over the merchants’ wares and admiring the colorful quilts and delicately designed driftwood. Options abounded with 12 free-to-visit farms, four farms with admission and the annual Sequim Lavender Festival Street Fair.
Colleen Robinson, executive director of operations for the Sequim Lavender Festival, said the street fair hosted 202 vendors along Fir Street including an expanded space into the nearby softball fields with 25 percent of their vendors new.
“A couple of vendors closed down on Saturday night because they sold out of product,” she said.
The festival’s first street dance on Saturday was a hit, too, and they are considering adding another night in 2016 for the 20th year of the festival, Robinson said.
Michele Connell with Peninsula Nurseries’ booth said the weekend was “awesome.”
“People have been very nice and they’ve been coming from everywhere,” she said.
George Washington Inn & Estate offered its Washington Lavender Festival during the weekend and the first NW Colonial Festival from July 15-19 reenacting historical Revolutionary War battles on a replica Concord Bridge.
Dan Abbott, owner of the inn, said they had at least 4,000 people on site throughout the five days.
“We’re going to separate the two festivals next year,” he said. “There’s been a huge interest and there seems to be quite a hunger for this type of history here (on the West Coast).”
Organizers are considering shifting the Colonial Festival to four days either to the last weekend of July or first weekend of August.
At B&B Family Farm, visitors could witness the lavender harvesting process as crews cut, bundled and placed the product from ropes in the rafters to dry on July 18 and 19. Co-owner Bonnie McCloskey said they had to harvest their lavender earlier than normal this year because the dry conditions led it to bloom early.
As for any confusion about all the activities and costs, Barbara Hanna, communications and marketing director for the City of Sequim, said she heard little negativity from volunteers, farmers and visitors.
The City of Sequim coordinates a comprehensive guide of all the Sequim Lavender Weekend activities at www.visitsunnysequim.com.
Look there and/or individual farms or associations – Sequim Lavender Farmers Association or Sequim Lavender Growers Association, for updates on what’s to come for the rest of the summer and in 2016.