This will be the fourth year for the Red Oak Lavender Farm's festival -- which takes place on Saturday, June 9 -- and after last year's surprisingly robust crowds, owner Tina Misko and her husband David are taking steps to make it a bit more manageable. This year the festival is a ticketed event (only $5 and available on the Red Oak website -- Red Oak Lavender Farm), but it's the best deal going.
Red Oak is the largest lavender farm in Georgia open to the public, where you can see lavender growing and blooming. Red Oak is a real farm -- with chickens and everything -- and plenty of room to meander. Located only about 10 minutes drive from the heart of Dahlonega, in the pastoral Lumpkin County countryside, getting there is pleasant and relaxing. That relaxation preview, however pales in comparison to the soothing scents and general nature of lavender, once you get there.
For the fesival, there's plenty of sights and smells, including U-Pick lavender in the fields -- each bundle includes about 25 fragrant stems -- plus crafts, pottery, painting and vendors featuring everything from homemade jelly, jams and pickles (many infused with lavender) and demonstrations of candle making and debudding. Lavender ice cream will be available for sale, and a French food truck (think Provence, France) will be onsite to add to the ambiance. There will even be fresh squeezed lavender lemonade.
Lavender products made right on the farm, include lavender lotions, bath salts, sachets, salve, Herb de Provence, deodorant, beard oil, bubble bath, linen spray and much more.
Lavender plants will be available the day of the festival -- more than 2,000 plants are grown on the property, all grown organically, and known to grow well in Georgia.
Parking will be in three parking fields or next to the farm and local sheriff's department deputees will direct traffic. This year's Lavender Festival is an event not to be missed -- and one of the best ways to enjoy it is to plan to make it a weekend event. Local lodging at boutique hotels, B & Bs, convenient walkable properties in and around the Square and traditional hotels and motels are all available. Dahlonega lodging
Purchase your tickets for the festival now -- although there are two sessions (morning 8-noon; and afternoon from 1-5) tickets are going quickly.