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Sequim comes into full flower with two lavender festivals

  • Washington Lavender, a farm on the grounds of the George Washington Inn outside Port Angeles, will be featured on the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire bus t...

    Washington Lavender

    Washington Lavender, a farm on the grounds of the George Washington Inn outside Port Angeles, will be featured on the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire bus tour for the first time this year.

  • U-pick lavender fields will be open to the public July 15 to 17 in Sequim, which is hosting two lavender festival farm tours.

    Sequim Lavender Farm Faire

    U-pick lavender fields will be open to the public July 15 to 17 in Sequim, which is hosting two lavender festival farm tours.

  • Did you know lavender also comes in white and pink hues? Visitors can discover the many varieties of lavender during lavender festival activities July...

    Sequim Lavender Farm Faire

    Did you know lavender also comes in white and pink hues? Visitors can discover the many varieties of lavender during lavender festival activities July 15 to 17 in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.

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By Sarah Jackson
Herald Writer
Published:
  • Washington Lavender, a farm on the grounds of the George Washington Inn outside Port Angeles, will be featured on the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire bus t...

    Washington Lavender

    Washington Lavender, a farm on the grounds of the George Washington Inn outside Port Angeles, will be featured on the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire bus tour for the first time this year.

  • U-pick lavender fields will be open to the public July 15 to 17 in Sequim, which is hosting two lavender festival farm tours.

    Sequim Lavender Farm Faire

    U-pick lavender fields will be open to the public July 15 to 17 in Sequim, which is hosting two lavender festival farm tours.

  • Did you know lavender also comes in white and pink hues? Visitors can discover the many varieties of lavender during lavender festival activities July...

    Sequim Lavender Farm Faire

    Did you know lavender also comes in white and pink hues? Visitors can discover the many varieties of lavender during lavender festival activities July 15 to 17 in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.

Sequim -- the self-described Provence or lavender capital of North America -- is the place to immerse yourself in all things lavender July 15 through 17.
Indeed, this small Olympic Peninsula town becomes a veritable purple paradise every July.
Visitors are invited to walk the fields, pick bouquets, take up lavender crafts, learn how to grow their own lavender and, of course, buy myriad products made with local lavender.
This year, fans of the fragrant plants will find not one, but two three-day festivals, starting Friday, each run by a different organization.
Why?
Last year, members of the long-standing Sequim Lavender Growers Association, which founded the original Sequim Lavender Festival, broke into two groups because of philosophical differences.
Though the lavender schism was surely painful for farmers and vendors, it appears we visitors will enjoy more lavender action with a new double-feature festival weekend.
The Sequim Lavender Growers Association's 15th annual Sequim Lavender Festival will include Lavender Central, a long-standing street fair and food court in downtown Sequim, plus a new, free, self-guided driving tour of seven of the area's smaller lavender farms.
The new Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, meanwhile, will put on a new event, the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire, which will include a bus tour of six large destination lavender farms (an event associated with the original tour), plus Lavender in the Park, a new street fair-style event at Carrie Blake Park about a mile east of downtown.
That means visitors, who might have picked up tour buses downtown for the big farm tour in years past, will need to board buses at Carrie Blake Park instead.
Bus tour tickets, good throughout the three-day event, are $10 in advance or $15 during the event.
Many of the farms on both tours will feature their own special activities, live music, food, art sales, display gardens and demonstrations, plus hands-on workshops and classes in growing, cooking and crafting with lavender.
"It's really opening the lavender industry wider to the consumer," said Deborah Anastasi Black, spokeswoman for the new Sequim Lavender Farm Faire, adding that the Sequim Lavender Festival's new driving tour will put a bigger spotlight on Sequim's lesser-known lavender farms.
"These farms in past years have been open during lavender week, but they were, I think, overshadowed, by the big destination farms," she said.
Both street fairs -- Lavender Central and Lavender in the Park -- will have live music, food and lavender vendors.
Other events happening during festival weekend include concerts, a quilt show, a classic car show, dinner cruises, art shows and studio tours, bird walks, winery tours, theater productions and a golf tournament.
If you've ever wanted to explore the charms of Sequim -- and nearby Port Angeles or Port Townsend -- lavender festival weekend might be the time to do it.
Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037; sjackson@heraldnet.com.
Sequim Lavender Festival
What: The Sequim Lavender Growers Association, which founded the festival 15 years ago, is putting on this event, which includes a street fair and, new this year, a free, self-guided driving tour of seven local lavender farms.
Where: Start at Lavender Central, a street fair at the corner of Fir Street and Second Avenue in downtown Sequim, where you can pick up driving tour maps.
When: Street fair hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 15 and 16, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 17. Self-guided farm tour hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 15 and 16, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 17. Featured farms include Blackberry Forest, Martha Lane Lavender, Oliver's Lavender Farm, Nelson's Duck Pond & Lavender Farm, Lost Mountain Lavender, Peninsula Nurseries and The Lavender Connection.
Cost: All events are free.
Information: See www.lavenderfestival.com or call 360-681-3035.
Sequim Lavender Farm Faire
What: The newly formed Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, including many members of the original festival, is hosting this new fair, which contains some of the elements of the original festival including a bus tour of six destination lavender farms.
Where: Start at Lavender in the Park, the fair's home base at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., about a mile east of downtown Sequim, where buses for the farm tour will depart regularly.
When: Lavender in the Park hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 15 and 16, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 17. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all three days.
Cost: Farm tour bus tickets are $10 in advance at www.brownpapertickets.com and $15 during the event for ages 13 and older. Tickets include farm admission and tour bus fare all weekend. Featured farms include Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb Farm, Olympic Lavender Farm, Port Williams Lavender, Purple Haze Lavender, Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm and Washington Lavender. Visitors can also drive to the farms, but tickets, also sold on the farms, are required.
Information: See www.sequimlavenderfarms.org or call 360-452-6300.
If you go
Getting there: See www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries or call 888-808-7977 for an Edmonds-Kingston ferry schedule. Leave early to avoid ferry waits.
Where to stay: Call the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce at 800-737-8462 or see www.sequimchamber.com.
Arlington artist
If you're heading to Sequim for the lavender festivities, you can meet Arlington artist Karen Keith, who will have a tent at the Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm, 274154 U.S. 101, Sequim, all three days.
Keith, featured in The Herald in May, is a silversmith artist, but she also does broom casting, a special jewelry-making technique that involves pouring molten silver over the head of a straw broom.
She will be selling handcrafted silver filigree jewelry along with pendants and necklaces. See www.karenkeithcreations.com for more about Keith.


Story tags » Arts (general)Outdoor RecreationCraftingTravelGardeningSequim

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