Lavender in the air at annual festival


WALTERVILLE: A local event with a unique aroma opened last Friday for a three-day run in Walterville. From July 7th to 10th, the McKenzie River Lavender Bloom drew a steady flow of the namesake flower’s fans who enthusiasts got to enjoy the intoxicating “herb of relaxation,” essential scented soaps, oils, and sprays; while also exploring culinary treats, crafts, music, and more.

All were on the grounds of the McKenzie River Lavender Farm which was created, and nurtured, by a remarkable lady - Carol Tannenbaum. Born in Georgia, raised in Alabama and educated at Auburn and Duke with advanced degrees in chemistry, After graduating, she worked for the Edison Company from North Carolina to Southern California.

After her marriage to Charles “Chuck” Tannenbaum (a retired ophthalmologist), the couple set their focus on finding a place for fly fishing and “four seasons!” Their journeys led them first to the Siletz River and eventually to the McKenzie area in 1999.

Here Chuck found a fly fishing paradise and Carol was able to take her background and love for gardening to new heights while exploring lavender.

This weekend, Carol reminisced about the first lavender she planted back in 2003. Her efforts and passion have turned into an experience to provide support to artisans, musicians, tourism, and cultivation. With her ongoing efforts, expansion of the event, and successful green thumb, Waltervile has become a host to twelve McKenzie River Lavender Festivals.

As Carol has found ways to involve Lane County more each year, she has developed relationships based on her same passion for people within the community. The event included a seminar focused on butterflies, a quartette from Bushnell, and local musicians that added a relaxing atmosphere to complement the mediated essence of lavender.

Among Carol’s passions are promoting lavender education, being active with the Oregon Lavender Association, and sharing the beauty of the McKenzie River area by chairing the Tourism Committee of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving as the organization’s treasurer.


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