Thousands gather for first annual Lavender Festival
The air was floral and fragrant during Ohio Valley Lavender’s first Lavender Festival in Georgetown on July 17 and 18.
The two-day festival took place on John and Katie Staker’s 12-acre farm that their two daughters, Abigail and Caroline, help manage. John said that last year they converted three acres of the farm from plain hills that needed mowing into a rolling landscape that is now lined with over 3000 lavender plants, complete with underground drainage system.
The family built their own distillery, and dries the flowers, presses the oil, and distills it to create a collection of various products. Available for sale at the festival were hand soaps, salves, pillow sprays, lotions, and other lavender-based products. John and Katie take pride in that they source all of the ingredients not only from the USA, but some of their products are fully derived from Ohio businesses. They also try to use as many organic ingredients as possible.
“It’s important to us,” John said about using local and organic products.
The family is looking to expand the sale of their products from local vendor events to making them available on Amazon’s marketplace.
Katie said that despite the challenges of spreading awareness about the event, as well as heavy showers during the first day, there were a couple thousand people who made their way to the field.
Dody Steaker, John’s mother, said that people were “picking lavender while carrying umbrellas.”
Parking was available remotely at West Fork Baptist Church, and festival goers had the experience of a tractor ride down the hill and along a creek to get to the patch.
Various vendors lined the farm with selections ranging from unique artwork to farm-fresh vegetables, jewelry, and more.
This year, admission was free, which was important to the family in order to provide availability for all of the community.
Next year, the family plans on hosting the festival and will set two weekends in June for people to pick lavender and shop the goods of theirs and other vendors. John also said that next year they plan to have a food truck available. More information about Ohio Valley Lavender is available on their Facebook page.