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SEQUIM — Members of two nonprofit lavender groups in Sequim hope that shoppers will choose to buy the scents of summer for Christmas.
The Sequim Lavender Growers Association and the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association are holding separate bazaars this weekend.
The growers association's 11th annual Lavender Holiday Bazaar is set for two days — today and Saturday — while the farmers association will host its old-timey Winter Lavender Mercantile Faire on Saturday only.
The two-day Lavender Holiday Bazaar will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the SunLand ballroom at 109 Hilltop Drive.
Nine vendors — all members of the association — will sell gift items involving lavender, said Susan Zuspan of Let's Do Lavender, who is a member of the committee that organizes the bazaar. Admission is free.
“We'll be at our new location,” Zuspan said.
“It's one of my favorite events. It's so pretty. You walk in and smell the lavender, and you see the matching tablecloths, and it's so nice.
“We really put our hearts into this, and I think it shows.”
The growers group will raffle off a 7-foot tree with decorations that include handmade ornaments, as well as at least seven gift baskets with donated products from association members.
Raffle tickets are $1. Free raffle tickets will be given to those who donate unwrapped new toys for a child up to 16 years old, with each toy worth one ticket, Zuspan said.
Proceeds will go to the Sequim chapter of Toys for Tots.
A separate raffle is set for a quilt made by the Sequim Sunbonnet Sue organization. Tickets cost $1 each, and proceeds will go to the Sequim High School scholarship fund, Zuspan said.
Santa is expected from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Homemade soups and sandwiches will be available for sale Saturday.
In 2012, the growers group netted $900 for all raffles and had 58 toys donated, Zuspan said.
The farmers association will hold its Winter Lavender Mercantile Faire from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St. Admission is free.
In a nod to Sequim's celebration of its centennial year this year, the farmers group is planning an old-time atmosphere to its inaugural holiday fair — “like an old mercantile, with an old country store feel to it,” said Vickie Oen, general manager of Purple Haze, which is a member of the association and one of the organizers of the event.
“Think old-time; think centennial,” Oen said.
“This is the first year that the farmers have done anything, and the idea is to make it a fun family activity.
“We're hoping Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there.”
Lavender goods from all members of the organization will be sold, she said.
A highlight will be a gingerbread house competition.
Gingerbread artists entering the contest were asked to create replicas of Sequim landmarks to honor the centennial year, said Janet Abbott, treasurer of the farmers group and co-owner of the Washington Lavender Farm at the George Washington Inn.
“We're asking them to pick an historic structure,” but they are not limited to that, Abbott said.
Some suggested landmarks were the New Dungeness Lighthouse, the Dungeness Schoolhouse, the grain elevator and Railroad Bridge Park.
“If somebody wants to try to do the Olympic Mountains, that's fine,” Abbott said.
Prizes are planned in each of six categories. Visitors can vote for People's Choice on Saturday.
Boy Scouts will sell wreaths, and the private Five Acre School will sell food as a fundraiser.
Canned and packaged food donations for the food bank also will be collected at the Winter Lavender Mercantile Faire.
For more information about the two-day Lavender Holiday Bazaar and for a list of member businesses, phone 360-582-1345 or visit the growers' website at www.lavenderfestival.com.
For more information about Saturday's Winter Lavender Mercantile Faire and a list of member businesses, phone 360-582-1185 or visit www.sequimlavender farmersassociation.org.