ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lavender season has kicked off as many local growers, businesses, and customers search for the fragrant plant. The Los Ranchos Art Market was among the first to host a lavender-themed event, the Lavender Celebration Days, which began Saturday and continues next Saturday.
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Because there was no Landender Festival last year due to COVID-19, the vendors were asked to follow a lavender theme, and sell products based on that. Ariel and Destiny with Swiss Alps Bakery were some of the vendors who came prepared with lavender products, like lavender-infused cookies and cake. “You can see people walking around with dry lavender, lavender lemonade, everything and anything you can think of lavender – they’ll put it in,” Ariel said.
Market Regular Max Gruner said he tries to support local vendors as often as he can. “This farmer’s market is just so lovely. The energy and the people and the vendors, good bakery items, good produce, it’s just absolutely wonderful,” Gruner said.
The Lavender Market by Lavender in the Village will commence July 25, along with other lavender-themed events throughout the month in place of the Lavender Festival. More information can be found online.
The fifth annual Art Along the Rio Grande event began with a steady flow of visitors trying to beat the heat. Elisabeth Stone, the Historic and Cultural Resources Coordinator for Bernalillo County Open Space, said the event serves to celebrate the cultural significance of the Rio Grande Valley and aims to raise funds for the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the Gutierrez Hubbell House Alliance.
Stone said they are happy to connect with the community with an in-person event. “We’re really happy to welcome everyone back to the site and to just see people out enjoying each other, enjoying the art, enjoying the beautiful Gutierrez Hubbell House,” Stone said.
She said they recruited local artists whose art reflects the things that are uniquely New Mexican. “We celebrate the history, environment, ecology agricultural traditions and the artistic traditions of the south valley and Bernalillo County more broadly,” Stone said.
According to Stone, the Valle de Oro refuge is the first urban wildlife refuge in the southwest that preserves the environment and habitat. “It’s a space for people to come together and appreciate the environment of the south valley in both its cultural history and its natural and environmental beauty,” Stone said.
The event had over 25 local artists selling their work, live music, food trucks, and activities for kids. For more information on the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and the Gutierrez Hubbell House, visit their websites.