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July 13 & 14, 2019
Willamette Valley Lavender Festival
Horticulture, Distilling, And Fine Art Merge At The Willamette Valley Lavender Festival in Newberg
by: Gina Fox
The Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg has all the charm of a storybook schoolhouse with its unassuming landscaping and small playground at its east flank, but during the second weekend in July, the early- twentieth-century brick two-story, as well as the central city block it occupies, will fill with vendors and patrons for the 12th Annual Willamette Valley Lavender Festival and Plein Air Art Show. The summer event, colloquially known as ‘The Lavender Festival,’ is about much more than homespun bath products or a ribbon-tied nosegay.
Kicking off the event, weeks before the festival-proper, is the Plein Air Paint Out. Dozens of local lavender farmers grant artists liberty to erect easels in their fields in late June. For two weeks, professional and novice painters alike capture the drama and loveliness of the fragrant shrubs in full summer bloom, then submit their works for critique by this year’s judge, Cathleen Rehfeld.
The juried exhibition takes place on Friday night in the Cultural Center’s ballroom, and the paintings are subsequently made available for purchase at the festival. The Paint Out and Art Show are sponsored, in part, by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County. For more information, visit Willamette Valley Lavender Festival.
As for the weekend festival itself, according to organizer Sharyl Fickas, craft booths, food vendors, and a bandstand will set up on Sheridan Street in front of the main entrance, and inside the front doors an essential oils showcase will grace the lobby. ...the Rest of the Story