Lavender is more often associated with the French region of Provence and not western USA; however, the Sequim-Dungeness valley of Washington state has a similar climate and ecology as that of Provence and produces some of the best lavender plants in the USA. Each year, the Sequim Lavender Growers Association hold a summer festival to celebrate lavender and to educate consumers on the growing of lavender.
What is Lavender?
There are many varieties of lavender grown, including hybrids, and there is often confusion between the different species of lavender. In general, lavender is a small plant with purple/blue flowers but, botanically, can vary in leaf structure, fragrance, color and growing regions, depending on the exact species of lavender or lavender hybrid.
Different species of lavender also have different properties and uses; lavender can be grown for culinary, medicinal, herbal, decorative and aromatherapy uses. Species of lavender grown which produce an essential oil include:
- True lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
- Lavender Stoechas (Lavandula stoechas)
- Lavandin (Lavandin x intermedia).
The Sequim Lavender Growers Association
Sequim Lavender Growers Association is a non-profit organization of many lavender farms and lavender growers in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley of Washington state; lavender grown in the Sequim area is recognized internationally. Over 110,000 lavender plants are grown in Sequim each year; the micro climate of Sequim produces less than 20 inches of rain per year, similar growing conditions to Provence in France, enabling the production of qualitative, fragrant lavender.
Sequim Lavender Festival Farm Tours
The Sequim Lavender Festival offers the opportunity to closely view the lavender growing process. Seven lavender farms of the Sequim region offer tours during the festival where it is possible to view techniques for cutting, drying and using lavender; many varieties of lavender are on show including white lavender, in addition to the traditional purple lavender.
Sequim Lavender Festival Street Fair
Sequim Lavender Festival will also host a street fair of more than 150 lavender and craft booths, food and music. Throughout the three day lavender festival event there will be a variety of concerts, theater shows, dances and sporting events; there will also be a lavender festival dinner held, a six course dinner, featuring lavender and foods of the Sequim region.
‘Need-to-Know’ Information for the Sequim Lavender Festival
- Where:the lavender street fair is located on Fir Street, in downtown Sequim; lavender farm tours are located throughout the Sequim- Dungeness valley area.
- When:17, 18, 19 July 2018; 16, 17, 18 July 2019
- Lavender Street Fair:is open from 9 am – 7 pm 17 and 18 July and is open 9 am – 6pm on 19 July; admission to the lavender festival street fair is free.
- Lavender Farm Tours:10am – 6pm on 17, 18, 19 July; cost is $15 for adults and children over 12 years of age (children aged under 12 are admitted free)
- Lavender Festival Opening Ceremonies:17 July at 11 am at the lavender street fair stage.
- Transportation:parking at the lavender farms is free but there is also the provision of farm tour buses throughout the festival; there are downtown shuttle buses to reach the lavender street fair.