The Portland Lavender Festival (Part 1)

Dear Liza,

Yep, we’re here…

Another wonderful weekend has flown by. Since it is summer, we have so many activities to choose from! It is hard to forego Shakespeare in Beaverton, for example, but we know there will be plays in Laurelhurst Park, and even a production of MacBeth in the Lone Fir Cemetery in a few weeks (Ooo!), so we chose to spend our Saturday near Clackamas, just a short drive east of Portland, at the Portland Lavender Festival.

Nelson enjoying the field

This incredible festival of sensory overload has been going on for 13 years, and is the only two days that the Portland Lavender Farm is open to the public. We drove past a gazillion Christmas tree farms with views of Mt. St. Helens and Mount Hood to the parking area where cheerful volunteers directed thousands of cars into into neat rows, and finally stepped out into the sweetest smelling field ever.

Happy Woman

To reach the booths and fountains of the festival we walked across a field of lavender that was positively moving with bees. The fields and humming reminded us of our week in Provence years ago, but without the oppressive heat. Parents were speaking in calming tones to their toddlers. “See the bees? They’re helping the flowers grow. No, they won’t hurt you, honey, they are so busy…”

Auntie Bridgett looking cute

Families posed for snaps while photographers with giant lenses got low and close to the blossoms.

Up close and floral

The Lavender Farm has developed this area into a coherent, easy to navigate venue. I am sure they are popular for weddings.

Craft booths galore…

On the lower field were craft booths, featuring lavender oils and such, but also aprons, clothes, candles, and birdhouses. A large tent sheltered a few dozen folks creating lavender wreaths out of hundreds of bundles of lavender, stacked like firewood beneath the tables. Everyone was so happy and busy!

So much lavender!

People were even renting little scythes to got out into the field and harvest their own bundles to take home. We didn’t feel the need, though some kids were very excited about it.

Continuing on, we found a wonderful water feature that began with a waterfall near a gazebo on a small rise and continued through a kid-friendly canal, under a stone bridge, and down into a pool with a jumping fountain. The gazebo offered a great view of the activities.

View from the top
Heading upstream

In this upper area was a music stage with lovely country tunes and blues-y jazz groups taking turns. Further up were the wine booths, where we enjoyed a cold Zerba Rose on this hot day.

Just lovely

We had packed peanuts for Grandpa Nelson but Auntie Bridgett and I needed to wait in a very long line at the Ate-Oh-Ate booth to get some food. There were only five booths to serve thousands of people! I think they need to get the word out for more vendors!

I will tell you more tomorrow. Off to bed now.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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