IMLAY CITY — The 17th annual Michigan Lavender Festival has found a new home in Imlay City at the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds. The three day festival opens tomorrow, July 11 and runs through Saturday, the 13th.
For the last seven years, festival founder and creator Jennifer Vasich-Keene has hosted the event in Armada but she opted to head north in 2019 and join forces with Imlay City's own Indigo Lavender Farms and owner Trish Dennis to celebrate the pungent plant.
"Trish's reputation for taking care of her guests is reflected in her passion for lavender and attention to detail. Her farm is breathtaking," Vasich-Keene said.
"In addition to providing guests with the experience of visiting an established lavender farm, our new location gives us all the space we need to spread out and grow. It's a dream come true."
With 14,000 plants and 23 rolling acres of brightly scented blooms to offer, Dennis notes how their combined expertise complements each other perfectly.
Festival founder and creator Jennifer Vasich-Keene and Indigo Lavender Farm owner Trish Dennis discuss their collaboration on the 2019 event in a promotional video.
"For Jennifer to have chosen the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds as her new location and in turn want to collaborate with us … I couldn't have imagined a better opportunity," Dennis said.
The three-day celebration will include an array of lavender-themed activities, including wellness classes and demonstrations, essential oil workshops and free children's crafts and story time. The Lapeer County FFA Chapter will provide a petting farm and animal education classes. Guests can shop for upscale, handmade items from 175 vendors and enjoy a variety of unique food items like lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade.
Special guests include wellness advocates Dr. Eric and Sabrina Zielinski, Girl Talk with K who will host 'Detroit's Future Is Female Women's Entrepreneurial Fireside Chat,' and 'Sisters on the Fly,' an outdoor adventure group for women who are providing a vintage camper display.
Shuttle buses will transport guests between the fairgrounds and
Indigo Lavender Farms for no additional charge. While there, lavender fans can stroll through the fields and enjoy a culinary sample table. For an added fee, they can pick lavender bundles or make wands or wreaths.
"The lavender will be in full bloom July 11-13 and we're delighted to share its restorative powers with those looking for respite from the stresses of daily life," Vasich-Keene said.
Admission is $7 for adults and children under 12 are free.
Festival hours are 4-8 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.