Lavender celebration still smelling sweet
The annual event, now a tradition in Yamhill County, will include many familiar elements from years past, including live music, artisan booths and lavender-based food and drink.
Many family-friendly activities will be featured, including horseback riding, craft activities and a youth art show.
“There will be new bands, products and artists, and new winetasting at the festival this year,” said Marilyn Kosel, who has helped with the event since its inception.
The festival has grown over the years to the point where it draws an estimated 2,000 people during its two-day run. It attracts people from all over the state.
“The first year we held the festival, it was kind of a last-minute thing,” Kosel said. “It’s grown a lot since then. There are only around 1,000 people in Yamhill, and last year we brought in twice that number in one weekend.”
An attraction that even draws people from out of state is the Plein Art Paint Out, a showcase of local art featuring Northwest lavender field settings.
Artists can submit up to five pieces. Those topping the judging will be shown at the Newberg Gallery and downtown McMinnville’s Currents Gallery.
“Artists come from across the United States for the paint out,” Kosel said. “There are really some high-quality paintings from high-quality artists.”
Sculptures, drawings and pottery will also displayed, also on a juried basis.
“The festival is really about two things: lavender and art,” Kosel said. “The quality and variety is something not a lot of festivals have.”
Oregon is one of the lavender industry’s leading states, and Yamhill is a local center.
“There’s been quite a surge of growers in Yamhill,” Kosel said. “It’s a growing industry. because lavender can be used for so many things. With lavender distillation, culinary usage and products, there’s a big market for it.”
After overhead, which typically runs about 20 percent, festival proceeds are distributed to worthy causes through the Yamhelas Community Resource Center. Money goes to youth groups, preschools, Scouting programs and even local sports teams.
Live music runs 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. There is no set admission charge, but donations are gladly accepted.
The Old Mill at Yamhill will play host to a Cruise-In and Flea Market Weekend the Saturday and Sunday of July 13 and 14.
The Yamhill Lavender Festival will be held the same weekend in Beulah Park.
The cruise-in will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with free auto body finishing demonstrations at 2. The Old Mill’s regular monthly flea market will be open both days.
For more information, call 503-201-3747.