Lavender Festival returning to Oak Ridge

(Information from Oak Ridge Today) Tennessee’s only Lavender Festival returns for its 21st year in Historic Jackson Square in Oak Ridge on Saturday, June 15. The festival is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Celebrating all things herbal, crafts, local foods, and more, the Lavender Festival is free to customers, and last year attracted an estimated crowd of 11,000,” a press release said. “In addition to free admission, Lavender Festival also offers plenty of free parking in city and business lots surrounding Jackson Square.”

The festival is full of tradition and fun, and it always features something new, the press release said. For example, a traditional bagpipe player will open the festival at 8 a.m., playing from upper Blankenship Field into Jackson Square. Also keeping with tradition, Alan McBride will follow with the hammered dulcimer in the bandstand, the release said. A complete music schedule is included below.

The highlight of Lavender Festival will be the group of 150 artisan, herb, and floral vendors that will line the covered walkways of Jackson Square, the parking lot, and both sides of Broadway Avenue, which will be closed to traffic.

The festival also features free children’s activities throughout the day, such as a street performer, Children’s ArtSpot, merry-go-round, and more, the press release said.

Free, informative presentations are held in the air-conditioned lobby of Pinnacle Financial Partners almost every hour:

  • 10 a.m.—”Growing Lavender in East Tennessee,” by Rose Echols from LoCo Lavender Farm.
  • 11 a.m.—”Atomic Seeds,” by Lindsey Freeman, sociologist and author.
  • Noon—”Buzz About Bees,” by Mark Porter, beekeeper at Lukey Honey Farms.
  • 1 p.m.—”Realistic Approach to Health and the Future of Naturopathic Medicine in Tennessee,” by Emily Cleveland-Job, N.D.

Also returning for its fourth year is “A Taste of Tennessee Wines,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., benefiting the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge. The tasting is hosted by Great Valley Wine Trail, which is made up of four independent wineries in East Tennessee. Your $10 tasting ticket is available at the gate (must be 21 and have valid ID). Tasters receive a complimentary wine glass, samples of about 24 wines, and can purchase bottles of Tennessee wine directly from the winemakers, the press release said. Wine can be enjoyed in the eating tent during festival hours.

Brunch, lunch, and snacks are served all day by several food trucks, caterers, and restaurants, including Lavender Ice Cream by Razzleberry’s Ice Cream Lab.

The Oak Ridge Farmers Market is open as usual across from the square from 8 a.m.-noon.

The Lavender Festival also features an Herb Luncheon on Friday, June 14, at noon. Call the Ferrell Shop if you are interested at (865) 483-0961.

The Herb of the Year, a designation by the International Herb Society, is anise hyssop. A bee friendly, medicinal and culinary herb, it will be featured in the Herb of the Year/Herbal tasting booth in front of the The Ferrell Shop, by Marie Bullock of Heavenscent.

The major sponsor of this year’s festival is Celebrate Oak Ridge, a nonprofit bringing events to the city. Cowperwood Company is also a significant sponsor. Also supporting the festival are Midway Tire, Trans Tech, Rebecca Williams Marketing, DoubleTree Hotel, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Larry & Margaret Allard, and a host of Lavender “Buds.”

“We appreciate their help very much,” the press release said.

Here is the music schedule: 

  • 8 a.m.—Andrew Pazant; piper, opens festival
  • 8:15 a.m.—Allen McBride; hammered dulcimer
  • 9 a.m.—Tanasi Winds; pop, jazz, classics
  • 10 a.m.—Liz and Tim; Americana, folk, and traditional Appalachian
  • 11 a.m.—Wild Blue Yonder; Appalachian Americana acoustic folk
  • 12 p.m.—Early Bird Special; country, folk, and oldies
  • 1 p.m.—Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle; singer songwriters, roots music
  • 2 p.m.—AM Station Band; classic rock

For more on this weekend’s Lavender Festival, visit

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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