The 23rd Jackson Square Lavender Festival will return to historic Jackson Square in Oak Ridge next weekend. The Main Event is free to the public and will take place on Saturday, June 17, from 8 am to 4 pm. Thousands of people visit the festival in Historic Jackson Square in Oak Ridge each year to see a variety of regional vendors, all of whom share a goal to celebrate health, herbs, and the environment.
Lavender Festival was named Best Festival last year by the Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council.
Beginning in 1999, the Lavender Festival has been held during the third week of June, which organizers say is when lavender is in bloom in Tennessee. In addition to several local lavender farms, the festival features 150 artisan and food vendors, live music, informative presentations, and free children’s activities.
Because of last year’s large crowd, this year, the festival is expanding to include a new area in front of United Way building at 301 Broadway Avenue, which will be closed to traffic and feature food and artisan vendors, several free activities for children including a small train ride, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and a smoothie blender bike with free rides and smoothie samples for kids.
While the Main Event on the 17th is free, there are several ticketed events during the weekend that will benefit local charities.
- Nine Lakes Wine Tasting, June 17, 12 to 3 p.m.—Benefiting United Way of Anderson County, the wine tasting will feature the wines and ciders of five Tennessee wineries. Ticket includes a tasting glass, wine tote, and samples of 30 local wines. Must be 21 with valid identification. Wine Tasting will be inside the United Way building at 301 Broadway Avenue.
- Tour of Gardens, June 16-18, selected hours—Benefiting Nourish Kids Club, the Tour of Gardens will feature four beautiful private gardens in and very near Oak Ridge. Master Gardeners of Anderson County will be available to answer questions in each garden, the press release said. Addresses of the gardens will be published June 10. Tickets are required, but children are free with paying adult.
- Herb Lunch, June 16, 12 p.m.—A treasured tradition in Jackson Square with limited seating and a gourmet, plated lunch. Tickets are only available at The Ferrell Shop, 235 Jackson Square, and will sell out quickly, the press release said.
A complete list of musicians, vendors, and activities will be announced closer to the event.
Volunteers are needed in all aspects of the festival, and a sign up form is on the website.
For more information, ticket sales or to support the festival, visit www.JacksonSquareLavenderFestival.org.