The Lavender Festival will celebrate “all things herbal” in Jackson Square on Saturday.
The 17th annual festival is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. There is no cost to attend.
“Jackson Square has been under renovations since January, but they are expected to be finished in time for the festival, which will go on as planned,” organizers said.
They said free parking is available in surrounding city and business lots, and on side streets.
The Lavender Festival focuses on herbs, health, gardening, and cooking, and it features more than 100 vendors, a dozen herb and health presentations, children’s activities, and many musicians. Vendors will line the covered walkways of Jackson Square, the parking lot, and both sides of Broadway Avenue, which will be closed to traffic.
New this year:
- Two members of the Knoxville Pipes and Drum Corps will open the festival by parading from the Farmers Market into the square at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by music all day under the big tent (see schedule below).
- A hand-painted children’s merry-go-round, bicycle powered by Dan Arp will be offered as well as a new planting activity for children, sponsored by Fox Brothers Ace Hardware.
- Educational presentations for adults will be offered between Dean’s Restaurant and The Ferrell Shop on the west side of the square (see schedule below).
- Food vendors are all located in one row, so you can see what your choices are. Seating is under the big tent.
There will be 110 vendors participating. You’ll want to visit the longtime favorite booths like Jericho Farms, Rainwater Farm, Windshuck, Anything Treem, Sunshine Gardens, Honey Rock and Erin’s Meadow Herb Farms, Harmonic Journey, Heaven Scent, and Daylillies Fresh Salsa, as well as the more recent additions like Loco Lavender, Mountain Sunflower, The Amber Lady, TN Naturescapes, TN Moonshine Cakes, Turtle Mountain Herb Farm, Brad Greenwood’s Custom Copperworks, and Linda Edmond’s hypertufa planters and many more.
Returning this year for children and the young at heart are exhibits from Jeri Landers, children’s author and illustrator, Bob Grimac’s Art Spot, Danny Whitson, street performer, sand art by Hip ‘n Happening, airbrush face painting by Angela Carr, and planting and other activities by Montessori School of Oak Ridge.
The Oak Ridge Farmers Market is open as usual across from the square from 8 a.m.-noon. Bring your cooler so you can shop for the freshest local produce, grass-fed meat, eggs, cheese, and bakery items, and still stay for the festival!
The Lavender Festival also features an Herb Luncheon on Friday, June 19, which is currently sold out. It features speaker Bruce Richardson, tea expert and owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas in Kentucky.
The “Herb of the Year,” a designation by the International Herb Society, will be celebrated at the festival as well. This year’s herb is Savory, which isn’t just one herb but a whole range of species. The best known are Winter Savory and Summer Savory. The Herb of the Year booth will have information about the medicinal and culinary uses of Savory, including recipes, and plants for you to see and smell. One of the herbal foods being sampled in the tasting booth this year is made with Summer Savory.
The major sponsor of this year’s festival is the new Alexander Guest House Retirement and Assisted Living Facility. Luncheon sponsor is Covenant Senior Health. Music sponsor is Cowperwood Company. Other sponsors are Elmwood Inn Fine Teas, TN Bank, Doubletree Hotel, Eckert Chiropractic, Visions Magazine, Citizens First Bank, The Oak Ridger, CapitalMark Bank and Trust, and the East Tennessee FARM Markets.
For a complete list of vendors and more information about the Lavender Festival, please visit www.JacksonSquareLavenderFestival.org.
- 9 a.m.—Beginners Guide to Using Lavender Essential Oil by Kathy Mihalczo, Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm
- 10 a.m.—Herbal Insect Spray Recipe by Marie Bullock, Heaven’s Scent
- 11 a.m.—A Naturopathc Approach to Long Term Health by Emily Cleveland-Job, N.D., Knox Wellness
- 12 p.m.—Growing Lavender in East Tennessee by Rose Echols, LoCo Lavender Farm
- 1 p.m.—Planting Herbs for the Bees
Under the yellow-and-white striped canopy:
- 2 p.m.—Grilling with Herbs demo and tasting by Jordan Langford, executive chef, The Alexander Guest House Assisted Living
- 8 a.m.—Renae and Regan Dishman, Knoxville Pipes and Drums
- 8:30 a.m.—Allen McBride
- 9 a.m.—Secret City Winds
- 10 a.m.—Good Thymes Ceiledh Band
- 11 a.m.—Mighty House Band
- 12 p.m.—Liz and Tim
- 1 p.m.—Taylor Kress Band
- 2 p.m.—Early Bird Special