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Summer festivals celebrate lavender

  MelissaLowrie2110 150
  Melissa Lowrie

By Melissa Lowrie

Apparently growing lavender in Georgia is a thing … who knew? This area is quite taken with festivals, so naturally, there are a handful of lavender festivals in North Georgia celebrating the fragrant plant.

IMG 5088  
Little signs give visitors farm facts.
PHOTOS BY MELISSA LOWRIE
 
A quick Google unearthed festivals in Dahlonega, Roswell and Sautee Nacoochee, each covering a June Saturday. We happened to be in town and available for the Dahlonega date, so we went to check it out.

Red Oak Lavender Farm is easy to find on Red Oak Flats Road in Dahlonega. It’s a small farm with a shop selling all kinds of lavender products. The festival (the third Saturday in June in 2017) features arts and crafts vendors, musicians, cut-your-own lavender bundles, ice cream, a food truck and other activities.

The festival started at 10 a.m., and we arrived a bit after 11. Cars were packed on the property and lining both sides of the road out front. There was a long line to enter the shop and purchase tickets, so we opted to skip. We bought two $5 tickets to cut our own lavender bundles.

The farm provided the scissors and guests were invited to cut 25 stems per bundle. There were several types of blooming lavender plants to choose from. Families with children of all ages seemed to enjoy choosing the perfect stems.

  IMG 5095
  A highlight of the Lavender Festival at Red Oak Lavender Farm
is cutting a lavender bundle to take home.

Clearly overwhelmed by the number of attendees, the staff kept its cool in spite of the warm temps. The website, www.redoaklavender.com, promises more inventory, additional parking and better crowd management for next year’s event. The store is open Wednesday through Sunday in June and July. Visit the website for hours of operation.

After an earlier than expected exit from the festival, my girl and I headed to Dahlonega for lunch and shopping. The square is always buzzing on the weekends. An afternoon in Dahlonega is an excellent way to entertain any Canoe Kid.

Other festivals in June include the annual Lavender Fest at The Lavender Cottage & Garden in Sautee Nacoochee. This free event also features lavender products, vendors, music and food. Check out www.whitecountychamber.org for additional information.

The Roswell Lavender Festival is the second Saturday in June. According to the Facebook page, this is “an annual event held on the grounds of historic home Barrington Hall, celebrating all things lavender. Music, vendors, plant sales, demonstrations, children's activities, food, plus the popular Zen Zone.” 2016 marked the sixth year of the event. Visit www.roswellgov.com for information.

Until we can visit the legendary lavender fields in France, Georgia will be our substitute. (It’s cheaper and closer, anyway.)

Enjoy the summer with your Canoe Kids. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

IMG 5098 IMG 5089 IMG 5099
Hidcote Blue, commonly called
English Lavender, produces tall
stems of light purple florets.
Blooming lavender is a treat for the senses on a hot
June day.
Royal Velvet is one of 18 varieties
growing on the farm.

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