Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oak Ridge's Lavender Festival and the Secret City Festival

I'm getting to the end of my time in Oak Ridge, wow, time flies.  When I first came to Oak Ridge three years ago in 2009, I really looked forward to the Secret City Festival and Lavender Festival.  I used the shuttle between the two festivals to go to Jackson Square for the first time.  Without a car, Jackson Square was pretty far away to be walking in the summertime.  I had a ton of fun at both festivals, spent all day outside in upper ninety degree weather.  That year I went on a tour of Y-12 National Security Complex, played laser tag, ate lavender for the first time, heard "Eye of the Tiger," and of course, looked at all the exhibits.  

Last year the Lavender Festival really made an impression and so this time around I knew I would spend most of my time at the Lavender Festival.  Even though the lavender festival is very small, I think it's one of my favorite festivals I've ever been.  The reason is that the vendor selection totally matched my tastes.  There was a lot of pottery, bar soap, interesting jellies, exquisite cheese, and gorgeous wooden serving spoons.  

Lavender honey ice cream from Cruze Farm in Knoxville.  The flavor was good, but their ice cream is not as creamy as Razzleberry's ice cream.
Erin's Meadow Herb Farm made an appearance too!
"The Chef" comes every third Saturday to cook breakfast in a pay whatever you like pricing scheme. 
Decorative gourds
Farmer's market in Oak Ridge on Saturdays and Wednesdays.  This is my first time attending this year, since I usually go to the flea market for cheaper produce, but the atmosphere is pretty nice at farmer's markets.  I may go back next week.  Maybe.
Fried green tomatoes, a southern dish but really took off in Tennessee
Lavender milkshake.  While standing in line I said I wanted a lavender milkshake and the person in front of me copied me.  Good ideas are contagious, eh?
Spinach sambousek from Mediterranean Delight
There is a new bakery in town!  Dean's Restaurant and Bakery located in Jackson Square
 The Secret City Festival is to celebrate Oak Ridge's history.  The town of Oak Ridge began during WWII and it played an important part of the Manhattan Project.  The national laboratories in the US are all in remote areas because they started as secret places so that no one else would suspect what was going on.  Oak Ridge in particular was chosen because it's located in a valley and you can fly over the area and not see it.  Of course, I also went to the Secret City Festival to check out Tennessee Creates, the juried art exhibit.  I started taking a pottery class in April and a lot of people I saw in the studio on weekends had exhibits that weekend.  The Secret City Festival is great for those with children and all the games and activities are free of charge because it is sponsored by Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Lab.  Every year there is a shuttle to take people back and forth between the Secret City Festival and Lavender Festival.

Oak Ridge High School's old year books?  I didn't actually flip open these books, they looked ancient but there was a crowd around the books and middle aged people talking about attending the high school
Corn on the cob

1 comment:

  1. Looks like fun! A lavender milkshake sounds delightful.

    Also, "mothershuckers": hilarious.