Welcome to The Michigan Lavender Festival, one of the state’s most aromatic and colorful events! As your guide, I’ll provide everything you need to know to make the most of this fragrant festival.
Whether you love lavender, crave summer festivals, or just want to experience a unique Michigan event, you’ll find this guide useful. Let’s dive into the scenic splendor of The Michigan Lavender Festival!
About The Michigan Lavender Festival
The Michigan Lavender Festival began in 2005 at Cherry Point Farm and Estate in Oceana County. Owners Harriet and David DeLind held the first festival to celebrate their successful lavender crop.
Only a couple hundred people attended that initial event. But word spread quickly about the beauty of the purple fields. The festival soon expanded to highlight more lavender farms in the area.
Today, The Lavender Festival spans several days each July. It offers numerous events across multiple Oceana County lavender farms and communities. Tens of thousands now travel from across the Midwest to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents.
Favorite Activities and Traditions
With so much going on, planning is essential for an enjoyable festival. Here are some of the most popular activities to consider.
U-Pick Fresh Lavender
One of the most popular festival activities is the opportunity to U-pick fresh lavender stems on Saturday morning. During a small window between 8-10am, guests can hand harvest bundles of lovely lavender varieties like Provence, Grosso, and Royal Purple.
The fresh-cut lavender offers a more robust scent than dried varieties. It’s perfect for adding to homemade soaps, oils, wreaths, potpourri, crafts, and culinary dishes. Hang bundled stems to dry upside down in a dark, dry area. Then enjoy your homegrown lavender all year long!
Sample Lavender Culinary Delights
One of the most delightful parts of the festival is sampling tasty foods and drinks infused with floral lavender. Vendors offer sweet and savory edibles that showcase how versatile the herb is.
From lavender lemonade and ice cream to lavender cocktail mixers and chocolate truffles, visitors can taste how versatile the flower is in sweet and savory foods. Derive fresh inspiration for infusing lavender into your own recipes.
Master Lavender Craft Workshops
Get creative with lavender by making your own wreaths, crowns, wands, bouquets, soaps, eye masks, and more during hands-on crafting sessions. Workshop tickets should be purchased in advance online.
The hands-on workshops allow you to get creative while making memorable handmade items to cherish. Sessions last 60-90 minutes with class sizes kept intimate to ensure individual attention.
Watch Essential Oil Distillation
The steam distillation process to extract lavender oil requires technical equipment. During special demonstrations, you can learn how the equipment works and the steps to distill oil from fresh lavender flowers.
The final lavender oil can be tested on skin. Often, the farm will have products available made with their own distilled lavender too. Observing the steam extraction process provides an appreciation for how delicate and time-intensive it is to produce quality therapeutic lavender oil from the fields on display.
Shop the Artisan Market
Over 100 talented crafters and artists set up booths at the festival marketplace. Find lavender-scented candles, soaps, lotions, and potpourri along with textiles, ceramics, paintings, jewelry, and other quality handmade goods.
Be sure to wander the entire market area browsing unique booths. Prices range from small affordable gifts under $10 to intricate fine art over $100. Bring cash to purchase directly from the friendly craftspeople who can share advice on using and enjoying their homemade lavender products.
Face painting, wand making, and a photo booth full of costumes and props will ensure the kids have fun. Join the children’s parade where they can dress up and walk behind a bagpipe band. Learn about pollinators through interactive bee presentations too.
The festival aims to inspire kids to appreciate lavender through imaginative and educational activities. Children receive a passport with stickers to motivate them to take part in various events. The opportunities to play, create, dress up, taste treats, and have fun make the festival enjoyable for all ages.
Enjoy Live Music and Performances
Amid the floral splendor, lively music and shows entertain festival-goers of all ages. Local musicians across genres perform sets throughout the day across the various lavender farms.
The concerts range from folk, country, and bluegrass to jazz bands and choirs. Many artists even work lavender into their songs and lyrics. Bring blankets and lawn chairs to sit back and soak in the tunes.
To make the most of your time at The Lavender Festival, keep these tips in mind.
Plan Your Day Beforehand
- Mornings are less crowded with shorter workshop and tour wait times. Visit flower fields early before the midday heat and crowds.
- Afternoons get busy, especially when the concerts, shows, and demonstrations take place. Plan your day around the mid-afternoon activities you most want to see.
- Evenings tend to be more relaxed. Stroll the fields and shop artisan booths during the evening hours.
During The Festival
- Dress for the weather with sun protection – umbrellas and hats help in heat
- Bring water to stay hydrated
- Carpool or use the shuttle to reduce parking congestion
- Arrive early, especially on Saturday for U-Pick
- Bring cash for food, activities, and shopping
- Give yourself plenty of time – most want 2 days minimum
- Make workshop reservations as early as possible
- Follow the festival on social media for updates and deals
I hope this thorough guide provides helpful tips and background for fully exploring The Michigan Lavender Festival. With its scenic beauty, relaxing atmosphere, and abundance of activities, you’re sure to have an unforgettable summer experience.
Let the aromatic purple hues and blooms captivate your senses at this one-of-a-kind Michigan tradition.