By Kayla Anderson
The Sparks Tribune
As the flowers are coming into bloom and the bees are going into their busy season, Downtown Sparks is ready to celebrate all things lavender and honey.
On Sunday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. the Sierra Nevada Lavender and Honey Festival is coming back to Downtown Sparks. Sponsored by OneNevada, Western Nevada College, City of Sparks, and 39 North Downtown, the Lavender and Honey Festival will feature arts and crafts, event-themed food and drinks, beekeeping presentations, cooking with lavender presentations, live music, signature beer from Great Basin Brewing Company, and plenty of lavender and honey products.
“Last year this even completely exceeded our expectations,” says 39 North Special Events Director Angela Handler. “It is a beautiful, high-end event that offers something for everyone,” she adds.
This concept came about as a way to celebrate the region’s farmers and agriculture community with high-end products produced right here in Northern Nevada. Last year, 39 North anticipated about 1500 attendees but more than 8,000 showed up. Handler believes that the event is successful because people are drawn to the color, the beauty, and the heavenly smell of lavender. She says that the workshops and beehive demonstrations seem to be the most popular, along with the lavender-infused slime-making station in the Kidz Zone.
“We probably gave out 600 tubes of purple slime last year,” Handler says. This year, the Sierra Nevada Lavender and Honey Festival will be serving up more specialty drinks and expand its space to prepare for the crowds. Petite Street Mobile Bar will be serving a honey lavender infused fizz, cider, and lemonade and Great Basin Brewing Company will serve honey lavender iced tea and scones that morning.
The festival will also have more than 100 vendor booths, 80 percent of them handcrafted items made within this region.
“We have a ton of lavender farmers and lots of community beekeeper groups. All the food and drink options are required to have some sort of honey/lavender component within their menus,” Handler says.
Presentations about lavender and honey will be held on the Amphitheatre Stage starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m. Several live artists will be playing live music on the Great Basin Stage starting at 10 a.m. (with performer Dawn Landes headlining) and Good Elephant Yoga will be hosting yoga sessions in the Cantina Courtyard at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. There will be plenty to do in the Kidz Zone, too, with a chalk walk, postcard coloring station, Engine 39 train rides, and more.
June 24 will be the second year of this “scent-sational” event in Victorian Square. The Kiwanis Bike Club will be offering free bicycle valet next to the Bourbon Square Casino on Victorian Avenue and shuttle buses will be available to pick people up from Reed High School and drop them off at the Nugget Casino Resort every half-hour from 10am to 8:30pm.
For more information about the Sierra Nevada Lavender and Honey Festival, visit lavenderandhoneyfest.com.