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Festival celebrates versatile lavender


Leisure & Recreation — July 12-13 in Yamhill, festival features assorted themed goods, crafts

The Yamhill Lavender Festival features everything lavender you can think of, and some you couldn’t imagine.

“There’s lavender food, lavender beer, we’re trying to get lavender wine, lavender coffee drinks, lavender Italian soda, lavender desserts,” said festival organizer Marilyn Kosel. “We also have distilling on site for essential oils.”

While lavender is the overarching theme, Kosel said there’s also non-lavender activities and crafts for visitors to enjoy. That list includes horseback rides, live music, face painting and a raffle to raise money for Carton Together Cares, a nonprofit that develops youth programs in the Yamhill-Carlton area.

“We actually donate some money to other groups that help volunteer through the festival,” she said. “There’s a lot of different ways (funds) get spread out in the community.”

In addition to the numerous activities and vendors, there’s the annual plein air art show, which Kosel said gets better and better every year.by: SUBMITTED - Family friendly - Entertainment for children is also readily available at the festival including various projects surrounding the plant.

“Some of the Northwest’s best plein air artists registered to paint (this year),” she said.

For Chehalem Flats farm market, this is the first year they have their lavender plants for the festival, but Jan Ellings said she loves the big “fair” feel of the celebration.

“(It) brings out families and shares another dimension of farming,” Ellings said. “Par­ticipating is a pleasure in so many ways. I enjoy meeting people and welcoming them to our farm. It is fun to share lavender and all that the festival brings. I love the art work, paintings and photographs that the Plein Air art show creates.”

As for lavender itself, she said she appreciates the many uses of the plant.

“Lavender is a great plant. It is a beautiful as a single feature or focal point in a flower garden, and wonderful as a border row plant. The oil is known for its relaxing qualities. Many folks use it sprayed on pillow cases for a restful nights’ sleep,” she said. “Lavender (also) has many culinary uses. The extract can spice up a recipe, buds are used in baking and in Herbs de Pro­vence Marionberry-Lavender Jam is delicious and available at almost all of the lavender farms.”

In the past, farms in the area were open for tours of lavender fields. Kosel said this year, there won’t be any near the festival open for visitors, although Chehalem Flats in Newberg will be open, along with others in the area.

“It’ll be a challenge to get people to come out this year,” Kosel said. “We’re going to see how it goes. In the past we’ve had as many as 2,000 people. We’ll see what happens this year.”

The Yamhill Lavender Festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 13 at Beulah Park in Yamhill. For more information, visit www.yamhilllavenderfestival.org.