Attending the Sequim Lavender Festival has become one of my favorite summer traditions. Usually, my mom and I head north to wander the fields of purple, buy copious amounts of lavender scented body products and picnic under the sun while listening to live folk music.
Sequim, Washington, which is located in Western Washington, was not always full of fields of purple. In the mid-1990s, local farmers searched for a way to use the neglected fertile fields of the Sequim Prairie. They wanted to do more with the land than just graze herds or grow foodstuffs. They wanted to do something that would cause both locals and tourists and passersby to appreciate more than just the water and mountain views but also the gorgeous land itself.
After careful research, the answer happened to be lavender.
Sequim is known for being the retirement community of the Western Washington. It draws the elderly for a few reasons. One of them is the great weather. The Pacific Northwest in general, especially Seattle and the rest of Western Washington, is known for being a wet and dreary place. However, Sequim, due its location within the Olympic Rain Shadow, experiences far better weather than the rest of the region. In general, the weather in Sequim is drier and sunnier.
This makes the region perfect for growing lavender, which does best in warm and dry places.
Initially, a handful of local farmers began converting their fields to lavender fields and the concept spread. Now, every summer there is a three-day lavender festival. The whole town is taken over by purple and the farms are open for tours and offer food and live music. Even if you cannot attend the festival itself, most of the farms are still open for tours year round and some even have shops in downtown Sequim where customers can buy house and bath products.