The lavender plant has found its way into just about every area of our lives. From candles and lotions, to cooking and cleaning products, the purple flower has become an essential element in many items. And it’s no wonder – lavender has a relaxing scent and refreshing flavor. It’s soft, yet musky, making it appealing to just about everyone. This popularity is why we celebrate the “Grandmother of Herbs” here in Macomb County with the Michigan Lavender Festival. And fans of the plant should mark their calendars, as it is just around the corner – Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Blake’s Orchard in Armada.
The annual event, now in its 16th year, offers a true “Symphony for the Senses.” Over the three-day period, attendees can take a wagon ride out to the lavender field or enjoy a gourmet lunch while sipping on a glass of ice cold lavender lemonade. There will also be workshops, wellness classes and shopping with the more than 150 Michigan artists, craftspeople and local farms who will be on site.
Other activities include:
- Live Music: Relax and enjoy the sounds of flutes, harps and other string instruments as some of the areas most talented, local musicians perform throughout the day.
- A Children’s Activity Tent: Following a short demo, kids take home a free sample of lavender play dough, along with the recipe to make more at home. Additionally, the SCIENCE ALIVE program, presented by animal scientists and zoologists, will give children the chance to meet an array of critters, including an armadillo, snakes and a cute porcupine.
- The Orchard Café: Offering gourmet food options with a lavender twist – including garden fresh salads, sandwiches, desserts and the festival’s famous Lavender Lemonade and Lavender Ice Cream!
- A Lavender, Herb & Perennial Sale: The festival has a fabulous selection of beautiful, hardy lavender plants as well as a host of other herbs and perennials to compliment any landscape.
- MSU Extension – Master Gardener Booth: Stop by to chat with master gardeners, horticulturists and educators from Michigan State University. Instructors will share their expert knowledge with classes each day.
- U-Pick Raspberries & Tart Cherries: U-Pick fruit is due to be in season, and Blake’s is expected to have both red and black raspberries available, and even tart cherries!
- Broom Making Demonstrations: Henry Tschetter will be demonstrating his unique handiwork throughout the festival. Henry has been making brooms for over 50 years, a craft he learned from his father and grandfather as a child. He now grows, harvests and colors the broom corn on his Rockford, Michigan farm.
- Spinning & Weaving Demonstrations: Visit Anne Tullet as she shares the art of spinning wool into yarn and weaving fibers into wearable works of art.
- The Lavender Sweet Shoppe: Offering lavender cupcakes, cookies and fudge, lavender ice cream, lavender lemonade and other sweet surprises, this booth demonstrates the delicious touch the “Grandmother of Herbs” adds to all sweet creations.
- Pottery Demonstrations: Jack Leyrer will demonstrate his pottery creations throughout the day, and patrons will have an opportunity to work at the wheel and make their own bowl or cup.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.