Whether you are busy picking out your perfect purple outfit or planning to sip lemonade in the shade, Sequim Lavender Weekend is bringing the masses to town.
Many farms enter their 18th year of hosting visitors as part of the Sequim Lavender Festival by the Sequim Lavender Growers Association or Sequim Lavender Farm Tour & Fair operated by the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association. Earlier this summer, farmers from both organizations said lavender is in pristine condition for U-cut and products. What hasn’t bloomed already should be coming out this week or next, many farmers said.
As for the festivities, there are some principal differences between events to note.
With the Sequim Lavender Festival, its growers association operates a free, self-guided farm tour with seven farms and the free Street Fair on Fir Street with live music, more than 150 vendors and more.
Its tour farms are Blackberry Forest, Graysmarsh Farm, Nelson’s Duckpond & Lavender Farm, Martha Lane Lavender, Oliver’s Lavender Farm, The Lavender Connection and Peninsula Nurseries.
At the Sequim Lavender Farm Tour & Fair, the farmers association continues its free Arts & Crafts Fair in Carrie Blake Park and the Water Reuse Demonstration Park with food and beverages, live music and 70-plus vendors. They also continue the Lavender Heritage Farm Tour with five farms that require paid admission. Those farms are Purple Haze Lavender Farm, Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm, Olympic Lavender Heritage Farm, Washington Lavender Farm and Lost Mountain Lavender Farm.
Advanced tickets are available through Thursday evening online at www.sequimlavender.org, at participating farms, First Federal branches, Purple Haze Lavender’s downtown store and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Welcome Center. Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for the weekend in advance or $25 at the event for three-day passes.
The in-city free shuttle continues that travels to and from JCPenney, Sequim Middle School, Lavender Festival Street Fair, Sequim Farmers Market, QFC, North Blake Avenue parking lot, Lavender Arts & Crafts Fair in the Park, and west and eastbound at Second Avenue and Washington Street.
All in the name
This year, the farmers association changed the name of its event from the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire to the Sequim Lavender Farm Tour & Fair.
Vickie Oen, farmers association president, said they felt adding “tour” explained the event better than Farm Faire because some people thought the fair was one destination.
“This says it’s more about going place to place,” she said. “By calling it a fair it was lost in the sense that we were touring farms.”
Regardless, Oen said they are selling tickets like crazy and they’ve added one-day tickets due to demand.
Caitlyn Williams, Sequim Lavender Farmers Association spokesman, said all of the participating farms are busy this week organizing last minute details for their own mini-festivals at each farm.
She said Washington Lavender, for example, has been prepping for this weekend for months with a village setup featuring reenactments Saturday and Sunday from the Second Connecticut Regiment of Militia re-enactors in period costumes, demonstrating and answering questions about colonial life. Williams said The Workshop of Seattle, which is partnering with the farmers association to promote the tour, said they are taking an approach to promote the farmers behind the lavender along with the product and farms.
The newest members of the tour are Marco and Christa Hermosillo who purchased Olympic Lavender Heritage Farm last year.
“Olympic Lavender Heritage Farm is completely new and revamped,” Williams said. “They’ve redone the gift shop which is breathtaking. They are really knowledgable, too.”
She said Christa, a former biochemist, and Marco are totally in tune with the chemistry side of lavender.
At the free park event, vendors like Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb Farm will sell a wide range of products from all natural lavender products alongside artisans and jewelers.
With visitors’ food options, Williams said they are trying to create an experience similar to a restaurant in their beer and wine garden operated by Bella Italia.
This year, the group doesn’t host an opening ceremony but continues its live music and entertainment offerings along with helicopter rides to see the lavender farms from the sky.
Mary Jendrucko, executive director for the Sequim Lavender Festival, said they’ve listened to visitors and made some changes to their events, too.
The growers association’s six free admission lavender farms and commercial nursery added new landscaping by planting new varieties of lavender while adding lavender oil distillation demonstrations, new lavender ice cream types and expanding parking areas. Staples like Tilly Lundstrom’s lavender lemonade for her school’s music program remains going strong at Nelson’s Duckpond & Lavender Farm.
At the Street Fair, Jendrucko said they quickly filled up their vendors’ booths and have a packed line-up for its Lavenderstock.
The Cedars at Dungeness is set to produce the Street Fair’s beer and wine garden too with lavender margaritas and martini cocktails available along with lavender wine for those 21 and over.
To help out, the festival enlisted the Boys & Girls Club of the Olympic Peninsula to assist with managing the Street Fair while hosting the “Festival Fun for Kids” which includes interactive games, fun and entertainment for children 12 under next to the Street Fair.
Other events covered under Sequim Lavender Weekend include the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Show and the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors’ show at Sequim Middle School, Olympic Theatre Arts’ “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure,” Sequim Farmers Market, “Les Misérables” at Sequim High School, Skyridge Golf Tournament, Jazz in the Alley, Art Jam, West Coast Women’s Review at Olympic Cellars, bird walk in Railroad Bridge Park, Puffin Marine Cruise and a wine tour.