Visit beautiful Blanco in the heart of the Texas Hill Country for the seventh annual Blanco Lavender Festival. The popular festival, recently seen in Southern Living, will be held June 10th through 12th, attracting visitors from all over the country. A Lavender Market will spring up on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, featuring arts and crafts and local lavender products. Tour local lavender farms where you can experience the beauty of lavender in the fields and the unique vision of each farmer.
The dry weather and alkaline limestone soils around Blanco make the area particularly suitable for growing lavender. The first commercial lavender farm in the state, called Hill Country Lavender, was started near Blanco in 1999. The climate and terrain reminded farm owners Jeannie Ralston and Rob Kendrick of Provence, France, where they had recently visited. After planting their lavender, they gave seminars to others who wanted to grow the beautiful flowers. From them, the lavender industry in the Hill Country grew.
The lavender blooming season generally runs May through July, with the June festival right in the middle. The farms participating in 2011 are Wimberley Lavender Farm, Hill Country Lavender, Blanco River Lavender Company, and Miller Creek Lavender. The farms will be open to the public for tours, special activities, and cutting lavender blooms during the festival. Admission to the farms is free.
Visitors will be able to see the lavender farming industry in different stages of development. Since all farms are within 20 minutes’ driving distance, visitors can stop at several in one day. Each farm will offer activities and events related to lavender, such as classes in aromatherapy and demonstrations of lavender oil distillation.
The participating lavender farms will have booths at the Lavender Market, each featuring their lavender and lavender-related goods, alongside an assortment of vendors and artists that will gather on the historic grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse in the center of Blanco. The market will be open noon to 6 pm on Friday, 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday.
Over 100 other vendors from all over Texas showcase arts, crafts, and lavender-related wares. Featured vendors include David Busch of Raindance Watercolors (2011 Festival Artist of the Year), Kelly Jo Designs, Inc., Lyn Foley Lampwork Beads & Jewelry, Paige Wilfong of Wildways Studio, and Wimberley Valley Gourmet Specialties.
Upstairs in the courthouse on Saturday and Sunday, educational programs about lavender will be presented during the Speakers’ Pavilion. Seating is limited to first come, first served.
On Saturday, Master Gardener Bill Luedecke III will speak on Hill Country gardening. Heron’s Nest Herb Farm co-owner Melanie Van Aken will follow with a class on the uses and benefits of lavender and other essential oils. The day will wrap up with a presentation by Amber Royer (author of A Walk Through Dandylyon’s Garden: Enhancing Your Life through Natural Botanicals) on lavender and herb teas.
The pavilion picks up again on Sunday with gourmet chef Sibby Barrett with ways of cooking with lavender. Barrett, owner of Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm, will also provide samples of tasty samples of lavender grape punch, Juniper-Provence chicken salad and roasted garlic pimiento cheese, and more. Amber Royer returns for a course on making your own organic lavender cleaning supplies. The last day of the festival ends with a lavender gardening seminar by Heron’s Nest Herb Farm co-owner Fred Van Aken.
Across the street from the Market, live music will be performed all three days in the amphitheater in Bindseil City Park on the Square. Zydeco Blanco starts the festivities on Friday afternoon. Saturday will feature Rachel Laven (acoustic/americana/folk rock), Bepko, Fletcher, Santos & Rose (acoustic classic rock), Bobby Mack (blues), and Ron Rose & Friends (acoustic classic rock). The music returns on Sunday with Blanco Canyon Gospel Group (gospel), The Jeremy Miller Band (southern rock), and Tennessee Valley Authority (bluegrass).
For the health and safety of your pets, we recommend that you do not bring them to the festival. It is traditionally a very hot, crowded event and visiting pets in the past have suffered from heat exhaustion.
Lavender Festival Schedule
Festival Dates & Hours:
Friday, June 10th 12pm – 6pm
Saturday, June 11th 10am – 8pm
Sunday, June 12th 10am – 4pm
Where: Old Blanco County Courthouse & Four Local Lavender Farms
The Lavender Market: During the Blanco Lavender Festival, an assortment of vendors and artists will gather on the historic grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse in the center of Blanco. Many of the lavender farms participating in the 2011 Blanco Lavender Festival will have booths at the market, each featuring their lavender and lavender-related products. Over 100 other vendors from all over Texas showcase arts, crafts, and lavender-related wares.
SpeedNet Broadand Internet Services presents the Speakers Pavilion: Saturday, June 11 11:30am — Bill Luedecke III — “It Begins With the Soil”, 2:00pm – Melanie Van Aken — “Relief for the mind and Body with Lavender”, 3:30 p.m. — Amber Royer — “Lovely Lavender and Herb Teas”, Sunday, June 12 11:30 a.m. — Sibby Barrett — “Getting Lavender into your Menus”, 2:00 p.m. — Amber Royer — “Make Your Own Organic Lavender Cleaning Supplies”, 3:30 p.m. — Fred Van Aken — “Creating the Soil that Lavender Loves”
Chuck’s Small Engine Repair presents Music in the Park: Enjoy live music during the Blanco Lavender Festival. These musicians will be performing in the amphitheater in Bindseil City Park on the Square, next to the Lavender Festival Market. Friday, June 10 3pm-5pm — Zydeco Blanco, Saturday, June 11 10am-11:30am — Rachel Laven, 12pm-1:30pm — Bepko, Fletcher, Santos & Rose, 2pm-3:30pm — Bobby Mack, 4pm-5:30pm — Ron Rose & Friends, 6pm-8pm — John D. Hale Band, Sunday, June 12, 10am-11:30am — Blanco Canyon Gospel Group, 12pm-1:30pm — The Jeremy Miller Band, 2pm-4pm — Tennessee Valley Authority
The Lavender Farm Tours: In Spanish, Blanco means “white.” The town of Blanco was named for the limestone hills and banks along the river here. But another color has come to characterize this area: lavender—as in the pale pastel hue of small buds that bloom in late spring at the many lavender farms nestled among the region’s rugged hills and live oak groves. The dry weather and alkaline limestone soils around Blanco make the area particularly suitable for growing lavender. The first commercial lavender farm in the state, Hill Country Lavender Farm, was started near Blanco in 1999. The climate and terrain reminded the farm’s owners of Provence, where they had recently visited. After planting their lavender, they gave seminars to others who wanted to grow the beautiful flowers. Currently, more than ten farms are located near Blanco with more farms being added every year. During the festival, many of the farms will be open to the public for tours and cutting lavender blooms. Visitors will be able to see the lavender farming industry in different stages of development. Since all farms are within 20 minutes driving distance, visitors can stop at several in one day. Each farm will offer activities and events related to lavender, such as classes in aromatherapy and demonstrations of lavender oil distillation.
Visit the GO TEXAN Beer and Wine Tent presented by HEB Plus Bulverde at the Lavender Market to sample and purchase a variety of food, beers, and wines from around Texas. Featuring the following Texas Wines: Fall Creek Vineyards, Maydelle Country Wines, Texas Hills Vineyard, Texas Star Winery. Also featuring the following GO TEXAN Vendors: Austin Gourmet Foods, Brittle Time, Caliche Hill Antler Art, Hill Country Bear Creek, Nutty Buddys, Shayne Sauce, Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Inc., Wimberley Valley Gourmet Specialties.