This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
Did you know there is an Arizona Lavender Festival?
Every year, Red Rock Farms in Concho, Arizona, hosts a lavender festival during the last two weekends of June.
I have wanted to go for many years. But since it is almost a 4-hour drive from Phoenix, timing the visit just right has been a struggle. However, we went on a camping trip this weekend only about 30 miles away from the farm and decided to finally make it happen.
If you read my recent post about what to do in Show Low, Arizona, you can totally add visiting Red Rock Farms to that list. The lavender fields are only 40 minutes northeast of Show Low, after all.
Alas, this weekend, June 24th-27th, was the last weekend for the 2021 Lavender Festival. After that, Red Rock Farms and store are open 1 PM to 6 PM every Saturday starting July 3rdthrough October.
For now, I’m sharing my experience at the Arizona Lavender Festival, so you can plan for next year!
Fun fact: there are more than 45 species of the lavender plant. Likewise, there are almost as many uses for lavender that anyone can benefit from.
To name just a few…
The most obvious benefit of lavender is the smell! Lavender is known for calming the nervous system when inhaled. As their blog explains, this is true for both humans and dogs!
Lavender mist sprays are sold at Red Rock Farms. Use it throughout your house like an air refresher or directly on your pillow before bed for a deeper sleep.
Essential oils are a good aromatherapy source, too. However, a bottle of true lavender oil is as multifunctional as Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Lavender oil can treat skin issues like rashes, insect bites, and small infections. Drop some lavender essential oil in your bubble bath not just for its relaxing qualities but for easing sore muscles. Due to its antiseptic component, lavender essential oil is a great natural way to clean your home. You can even apply it to your scalp to reduce dandruff and possibly in a hair mask to encourage hair growth.
My preferred essential oils brand is DoTerra; they have the purest grade!
You might opt for live lavender plants in your yard due to their appearance, their fragrance, or their ability to attract bees and repel unwanted insects.
During the Lavender Festival, Red Rock Farms provides tours and demonstrations to explain the benefits of each type of lavender plant, including which ones have the best chance at thriving in the desert heat.
For apartment dwellers or those cursed with a black thumb, lavender grows great in well-drained potted soil, too. This adorable set of three French Lavender Planters is on sale at Amazon right now!
Yes, you can cook with lavender, too!
More recently, it is popular to infuse lavender in beverages like lemonade and lattes. I admit, I’m a big fan! Just a drop or two of lavender oil will do, or you can mix in dried lavender buds to achieve the desired flavor.
Lavender buds also blend well with other herbs to make tasty dry rubs. Or, add lavender buds to your favorite baking mix for a wonderful floral flavor.
Cupcakes, breads, shortbread cookies, or even tea sandwiches are greatly improved with just a hint of lavender. Try some of these recipes from Red Rock Farms!
If you like creating your own potpourri sachets, making candles or soaps (check out these silicone soap molds), or enjoy decorating with dried floral bouquets, lavender is a hearty plant to work with. Dried lavender stays potent and still holds most of its original color, as well.
For further ideas, this page explains which lavender plant type is best for each of the above uses. But, if you like seeing these plants in person and speaking directly with an expert, I highly recommend visiting Red Rock Farms!
Annual Red Rock Lavender Festival – What to Expect
Although Concho is in the Arizona White Mountains, the farm itself is nestled among flat, desolate high desert acreage. Basically, if it looks like you’re driving to the middle of nowhere, you are in the right direction. A mile-long dirt road leads you from the highway to the farm.
The farm was established in 1998 (read more about their history here). Not long after, the owners realized lavender had pristine growing potential due to the climate and 5,000-foot altitude.
These conditions, along with expert care from Red Rock farmers, creates the most fragrant, lasting lavender plants. In fact, you will most likely start smelling fresh lavender from the farm entrance!
Keep in mind, while their farm is successful, the shop and wine bar are quite small. Be courteous of others’ space 😊
Outside, you can meander through the pathways, take some photos for the ‘gram, and view the many lavender varieties. The farm also added a small vineyard in 2015 and it’s been a hit ever since.
If you visit during the Lavender Festival, you have the option of paying $5 for regular admission or $25 for the VIP package, which includes your entry fee, a cheese plate, wine tasting, and 10% off store purchases.
Reservations are not required. But if you want to experience all that the Red Rock Lavender Festival offers, get there as soon as they open at 9 AM.
Anyone can join the Lavender Growing Discussion at 9:30 or 11:30 in the garden. There is also a Cooking with Lavender demonstration at 10:30 and 12:30.
The farm is open until 3 PM on festival days. However, as the sun and wind grow in intensity, you will be glad you came earlier in the day.
Visitors can peruse the shop’s lavender products, lavender plants for sale, and chat with an expert about growing their own plants back home.
While it varies every year, you can also expect appearances from a few other vendors. This year, Black Jack Citrus Fusions food truck was whipping up lavender infused lemonade concoctions. Unfortunately, we arrived too late on the last day of the festival and they must have already packed up.
The Fine Print
As far as COVID19 guidelines, masks are not mandatory. Just be mindful of others and sanitize your hands if you inspect the products in the shop.
The Red Rock Farms Lavender Festival page states that besides service animals, no pets are allowed on the grounds.
However, as you can see from my photos, they were OK with Samson coming only into the lavender fields so Andrew didn’t have to wait in the car with him. After a few minutes of pictures, he was overheating and ready to jump back in the truck anyway.
Ask, don’t assume! They probably only made the exception because it was near closing time and less people were present.
Although lavender plants and fresh bouquets are for sale, if you would rather cut your own sprigs as a souvenir, Red Rock Farms does provide clippers for U-Cut. Just ask a store associate when you arrive.
Smoking is not allowed at the farm, including the parking area. Not only is this due to a large fire risk, but as consideration for non-smokers and people with lung issues.
Along those lines, if you are allergic to bees, take precaution in the lavender fields.
Most bees will happily ignore you on their way to pollinating the lush lavender buds. Still, it is smart to wear close-toed shoes to avoid agitating a bee near the pathways.
Like I said, we had been camping so my attire was lacking overall.
I love my Teva's (similar ones here) and had no trouble with them besides the dust. But if I'd been prepared, I would have worn a casual, white summer dress like this one, a sun hat, and my white BANGS Shoes. PS, use code BANGSFAM2021 for a discount on your own pair!
My Review – Red Rock Lavender Festival
While I probably wouldn’t drive 4 hours just to get to the Arizona Lavender Festival, I do think it is worth a visit if you happen to be nearby.
The Red Rock Lavender products and plants are world-renown. Plus, they make for excellent gifts! Even if you are unable to attend the festival or farm in person, products and plants are available for online purchase year-round.
Since we’d just finished camping on the Navajo Reservation, I was ready for some non-camp food.
I purchased the last, tasty (but a tad overpriced) cheese sample plate. For wine enthusiasts, I’m sure this, included in the VIP package, would be a valuable experience. However, since I’m not a drinker, I bought my plate separately.
And just because it was my birthday weekend, I treated myself to a small tin of lavender chamomile tea, a package of lemon lavender shortbread cookies, and a small lavender plant of the Buena Vista variety.
I haven’t tried the tea yet, but the cookies were divine (even if they weren’t gluten free)! Let’s just hope I can keep my little plant alive. I plan on following their growing tips to a T to ensure its growth.
In all, it was a great way to spend a quick stop on a summer afternoon before enduring the road trip back home.