Worth the Trip: Discover funky junk, AZ wines and fields of purple flowers - East Valley Tribune: Local Treasures

Worth the Trip: Discover funky junk, AZ wines and fields of purple flowers

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:58 am


11th Annual Lavender Festival

There’s a good bit of purple in the White Mountains this time of year, thanks to about 35,000 lavender plants reaching peak bloom at Red Rock Ranch and Farms. Besides being pretty to look at, the fragrant amethyst blossoms must be harvested by hand each summer. They’re then transformed into everything from cookies to sachets to essential oils.

Cut your own bouquet ($7) at this festival, or catch daily discussions (9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.), cooking demonstrations and tastings (10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.), and “Topic of the Day” sessions (1:30 p.m.), where a $50 gift certificate to the on-site lavender store is given away. Black Mesa Ranch, an Arizona goat milk dairy, will sample cheeses, including one made with Red Rock’s Lavender Herbes de Provence, on June 20. June 21 features a lavender ice cream demonstration and sampling, and garden pro Patrick Pynes will share expertise on beekeeping on June 29.

DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 19-22 and 26-29. Red Rock Ranch and Farms. From Snowflake, take Highway 277 toward Concho, and turn left onto Highway 180A. Turn right at Mile Marker 352 (look for the Shiloh Village sign), and follow the two-lane dirt road, turning right when the road becomes one lane. Turn left at the first curve, and drive until you reach the farm gates. Admission is $5 per person age 4 and older, or order a package that includes admission, a boxed lunch with beverage and one u-cut lavender bouquet for $24 per person. The package must be ordered and prepaid at least 24 hours in advance. (928) 337-2289 or RedRockFarms.com.


Tilted Earth Wine & Music Festival

Combine the summer solstice in the scenic Verde Valley with 16 local wineries, seven live bands and six gourmet food trucks, and you’ve got yourself a party — this one celebrating Page Springs Cellars’ 10th anniversary.

The Cornville winery’s festivities unfurl on the lush, tree-lined shore of the Verde River, where adults can sip wine, sample food, groove to music and indulge in on-site massages and yoga. Children will find free activities such as sumo-suit wrestling.

Purchase tickets before June 20 and you’ll get a voucher good for a free bottle of Page Springs’ 2011 Vino del Barrio Blanca. A portion of proceeds benefit the Verde Valley Teen Center.

DETAILS >> Noon to midnight Saturday, June 21. Riverfront Park, 1284 E. Riverfront Drive. Tickets are $45 in advance online or $50 at the door; the price includes five tastings and a reusable Govino wine glass. Free for children 12 and younger. (928) 639-3004 or PageSpringsCellars.com.


The Big Heap Vintage and Handmade Festival

In other parts of the country, names like Round Top (Texas), Kane County (Illinois) and Shipshewana (Indiana) are synonymous with big flea markets, auctions and antique shows worth driving to for a day of “junking,” “picking” or just plain shopping. Approximate the anticipation — and the payoff — with a day trip to The Big Heap.

A juried festival featuring furniture, fashion, decor and all manner of hand-wrought and hand-rendered items, its collection of cool junk runs the gamut from modern and industrial to salvaged, vintage and handmade.

Like what you find, and mark your calendar for a return visit much closer to home: The Big Heap will come mid-November to Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields, and a flea market from the same organizers starts up the first Saturday of every month, October through April, at Big Surf Waterpark in Tempe.

DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 21-22. Coconino County Fairgrounds at Fort Tuthill County Park, 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop (Use Interstate 17’s Exit 337 3 miles south of Flagstaff). $3; free for children 11 and younger. (928) 679-8000 or TheBigHeap.com.

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