Relax among the blooms at annual lavender festival
Lavender lovers unite – The Original Michigan Lavender Festival returns this weekend for its 19th season, this year held at the Eastern Michigan Fairground in Imlay City. The festival – which was canceled last year due to COVID-19 – features a range of lavender-themed products, classes and demonstrations, as well as its Made in Michigan Marketplace featuring more than 100 artists and makers.
Jennifer Keene, the festival’s founder and creative director, said the event, set for Friday and Saturday, is a relaxing way to enjoy the weekend and support small businesses.
“The fairgrounds will provide us with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy those springtime blooms as we breathe in all the lovely lavender,” she said.
The festival features four Michigan lavender farms, Romeo Lavender Farm, Hayworth’s Lavender Farm, Indigo Farms and Barred Rock Hops & Lavender Farm, who will offer classes like “Hey, Let’s Start A Lavender Farm,” “For the Love of Lavender: Tales of An Unlikely Lavender Farmer” and “Lavender & Hops: Nature’s Remedy For Stress,” in addition to products.
The event also includes classes with general gardening tips like “Secrets to Growing Gorgeous Succulents,” “All Aboard The Grain Train” and “Bee The Change: How Urban Beekeeping Is Shaping Our Future,” as well as food trucks, live music and lavender treats.
“Guests will be able to enjoy a taste of lavender with exclusive products such as lavender shortbread, lavender lemonade, lavender baklava, and an incredible lavender honey ice cream made just for the lavender festival by Michigan’s own Guernsey Farm Dairy,” Keene said.
The event is normally held in July, but Keene said holding the festival a month earlier allows visitors to enjoy cooler weather and preview subsequent lavender events hosted by individual farms later in the season.
“We’ve pivoted in order to complement each of these beautiful farms rather than to compete,” she said. “Moving forward, we believe we can best serve them by becoming more of a lavender expo at our big event, giving them heightened exposure while promoting their farm happenings during the rest of the season.”
The festival will be implementing additional safety practices to protect against COVID-19. Vendor booths will be twice as large and positioned 10 feet apart to accommodate social distancing, and additional hand-washing and hand-sanitizer stations will be available. Guests are asked to wear face coverings and stay home if they are sick. Pets are not allowed.
19th annual Original Michigan Lavender Festival
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Eastern Michigan Fairground, Imlay City
Admission: $7 at the gate; free for children 12 and younger; $2 off admission for active military and veterans Parking: Free