I grew up in Mesa County, and both my parents still reside there, yet it took me 30 years to finally make it to the famous Colorado Lavender Festival!
An annual event, the Colorado Lavender Festival takes place in Palisade, Colorado every June. Palisade is a small town on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies known for its abundant agricultural contributions. Although famous for its peaches and vineyards, Palisade has even more to offer. From locally owned breweries and distilleries and annual festivals for the town’s multiple harvests to hikes at the nearby Mt. Garfield, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this area year round!
While the Ute Indians were the first to inhabit the area, white settlers eventually made their way to the Western Slope and established the agricultural haven we know today. With the Colorado River running through the area and plentiful run-off from the nearby snow-capped mountains, Palisade came equipped with all the irrigation water required for the miles of established orchards. Coal mining in the nearby DeBeque Canyon was also an early industry that nourished the area’s economy.
However, as coal mining died out agriculture persisted as the dominating industry, eventually bringing a tourism industry for the town’s fruit orchards and wine vineyards.
The Colorado Lavender Festival
One of the many festivals that attract tourists to Palisade from around the state is the Colorado Lavender Festival. The festival is a weekend-long event that includes self-guided tours of lavender farms in Palisade and its fellow Western Slope towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss. Saturday also includes a festival in Riverbend Park with food, booths, crafts, seminars, live music, and more!
The Festival in Riverbend Park
We opted to enjoy a variety of the events, first exploring the festival in the park on Saturday. Booths lined the walkways of the park inviting visitors to purchase farm-made lavender products such as oils, soaps, lotions, and candles. Food trucks also lined the walkways, serving festive treats like lavender lemonade and sorbet. We left the festival with some aromatic lavender oil for both ourselves and my mother-in-law. You can experience a bit of the magic with us in the TikTok video below!
@shellby_the_shuttle Come to the Colorado lavender festival in Palisade with me 💜 #lavendaroil #lavendar #lavendarfarm #lavendaraesthetic #PepsiApplePieChallenge ♬ Pure Imagination – Kathleen
Sage Creations Organic Farm Tour
On Sunday, we opted for a self-guided tour at Sage Creations Organic Farms where my father, a clarinetist, and his violinist and pianist colleagues were hired for live music.
My mom, partner and I arrived ready to take in all the fragrance and colors the farm had to offer. Excited to take all the photos, I brought our Canon 80D camera with us to capture some of the farm’s beauty and abundance.
As it turned out, the farm had experienced some below freezing temperatures late in the season that year, meaning their crops produced quite a bit less than would be typically expected. Even so, the fields blossomed in synchrony and were a treat to be devoured by the eyes!
For the tour, we were free to roam the the designated pathways through fruit orchards, greenhouses, and fields of lavender. The farm did, however, provide a more structured self-guided tour that included educational booths and opportunities to engage in crafting with the flowers for those who desired it. I opted to meander down the pathways and capture as much of my adoration for this farm on camera as possible.
Photos from the Farm
Final Thoughts on the Colorado Lavender Festival
In general, festivals centered around agricultural bounties are always exciting to indulge in. You get to experience the crop in creative ways, such as a cup of lavender lemon sorbet, and the energy that such festivals bring to a community is contagious in all the best ways. Palisade, being the annual host of many harvest festivals including the well-attended Palisade Peach Festival, is an absolute expert at hosting these events by now. With that said, if you are in Colorado during late June, the Colorado Lavender Festival is a wonderful event with a variety of options for participating that make it something everyone is sure to enjoy!
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