Kuna Lavender Festival runs through Sunday

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-08 20:06:16-04

A seasonal favorite in the Treasure Valley is the Kuna Lavender Festival that's always held the weekend after the 4th of July so the herb is ripe for picking.

There's something about lavender that one vendor explains.

"It just seems calming and relaxing," says Maria Sestero, owner of Sophie's Choice Designs.

For those new to the hands-on experience, they found it's something the entire family can enjoy.

"Our first time visiting the lavender festival," says Megan Stemke, a Boise resident.

Whether it be picking some herbs, taking a photo in the field of purple, or checking out the crafty vendors, there are plenty of activities to choose from.

New this year is live entertainment, additional parking and handicapped accessible spots.

Despite the heat, there was a steady flow on opening day Saturday.

"We just got here a few minutes ago and they [her kids] were so excited to pick their lavender," Stemke says. "So, we love it."

Stemke's family has lavender of their own growing at home. They like to make bath salts and soap.

Thanks to the many varieties of lavender, you can use it to flavor cookies, breads, jams and jellies. Sestero, a food vendor, expects to sell 2,000 glasses of lavender lemonade by the end of the day.

"Everybody that comes to the booth says, 'What does it taste like? Does it taste like soap?' I tell them no, there is a difference between regular essence of lavender and the culinary lavender that you cook with," she says.

The Kuna lavender farmers were worried how the harsh Winter might affect their purple plants but were pleasantly surprised and able to carry on the Treasure Valley tradition.

"We did cover it and everything came back better then ever," says Amy Mai, a family member of the lavender merchant. "And, with our wet Spring we have a really fantastic lavender crop this year."

The festival continues Sunday starting at 9 a.m.

There is no cost to get in but there is a fee if you want to take some lavender home with you.