On July 11 – 13, Friday through Sunday, Palisade will be lavish with lavender. The town will be decked out in shades of purple, including port-a-johns that will be placed around town by one of the sponsors, Rocky Mountain Sanitation.
“Of course, you can’t have a lavender festival without purple toilets,” Lavender Lady Carol Mueller smiled as she discussed the plans for the 4th Annual Colorado Lavender Festival. “I’m busy baking hundreds of my popular lavender cookies to give out and sell at the Lavender Lady Boutique,” Mueller said. Plus, she is stocking her store full of products: foot lotion, oils, soaps, bubble bath, lavender infused honey, and other unique items that are and are not lavender based. She is not the only member of the Palisade Chamber of Commerce or the Lavender Association of Western Colorado anxiously preparing for the coming Festival.
This weekend’s theme is “Immerse yourself in Lavender.” Besides the color accent, fragrant activities will educate and enlighten participants in many aspects of farming and using one of the most popular herbs in our valley.
Friday begins with an All Day Guided Motor coach Tour of North Fork Valley farms. Enjoy lavender in peak bloom, have a picnic lunch and other activities, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A new Half Day Guided Motor coach Garden Tour of Grand Valley farms will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., ending with lunch at the Wine Country Inn.
Saturday is the official Lavender Festival in downtown Palisade Memorial Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy free entry to see lavender products, artisan crafts, and vendors, along with food, live music, and demonstrations, including distilling, debudding and propagation of lavender. There will also be a guest chef cooking with lavender. Get a ticket for either the “How to grow lavender” or “Wreath making” workshops. “Spike it with Lavender Feast” offers elegant dining with lavender in the evening at the Wine Country Inn.
Sunday, festival weekend activities wind down with Self-guided Tours of lavender farms, orchards, wineries, and retailers from Palisade to Fruita to Paonia and points in between. Pick up a free map at Saturday’s festival and take a unique adventure for the family. Carol Mueller is one of first lavender promoters or lovers in the Grand Valley, and now the Lavender Association of Western Colorado has grown to include various farms, retailers and individuals who can’t get enough of the purple, fragrant herb that is a growing industry to Palisade and Colorado. For complete information and to purchase tickets, go to www.coloradolavender.org.