SEQUIM — Lavender fields and farmers are ready for the masses.
Streams of people already have been coming to farms throughout the summer as the popular plant has been blooming across the area. The timing is right for the 2023 Lavender Weekend, Friday through Sunday, the biggest visitor draw of the year to the Sequim area.
This year, 18 farms are open to tour, including three new ones: Gnomelicious Lavender Farm, Old Barn Lavender Company and Olympic Bluffs Cidery and Lavender Farm.
Barbara Hanna, the city of Sequim’s communications and marketing director, said having new farms is exciting.
“The addition of new farms indicates to me how healthy the lavender industry is in Sequim and that there is still a lot of enthusiasm for the experience and the products,” she said.
Farms all offer unique experiences, including U-cut lavender, products, vendors and music. Most are open through the summer and some just for the weekend.
Three host their own independent events for an entrance fee: In Bloom Lavender Farms ($10 admission for all three days with free U-cut bundle; 12 and younger free); Jardin du Soleil ($10 admission for all three days, 12 and younger free); and Purple Haze Lavender Farm ($5 per day, 10 and younger free).
All other lavender farms have free entrance that weekend.
The Sequim Lavender Festival, first held Aug. 2, 1997, returns to Carrie Blake Community Park with music, vendors and a plethora of activities.
Lavender in the Park, formerly known as the weekend’s Street Fair, was part of the festival’s beginnings and helped festivities grow into a three-day event along with farm tours and events the same weekend and/or throughout the summer.
Sergio Gonzalez, owner of Meli’s Lavender and president of the Sequim Lavender Growers Association, said the group has more than doubled its vendor count from last year to about 170.
“It’s gonna be a lot better,” he said.
Among its many highlights are a free Street Dance with Black Diamond Junction at 7 p.m. Saturday in the James Center for the Performing Arts. Vendors are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free parking is offered at the entrance to Blake Avenue, Olympic View Church and along city streets.
A free in-city shuttle bus runs during vendor hours at Sequim High School, the Sequim Civic Center, Olympic View Church, the intersection of Second Avenue and Washington Street and Carrie Blake Community Park.
Gonzalez’s brother Victor of Victor’s Lavender Farm offers free barn dances with Joy in Mudville on Friday and Sound Advice on Saturday, both starting at 7 p.m.
Olympic Theatre Arts offers BZ Paint and Sip of lavender fields at 11:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday (fee applies) and “Lavender Lawlessness: A Lavender Melodrama” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with tickets available at olympictheatrearts.org.
The Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market is open at the Sequim Civic Center from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Cedarbrook Lavender Store in downtown Sequim also offers classes and demonstrations throughout the weekend.
The Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Show displays club members’ quilts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in Pioneer Memorial Park, for a $5 suggested donation.
For a full list of details, visit sequimlavenderweekend.com.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.