In May, the Paso Robles City Park will welcome visitors with the calming scent of lavender and savory taste of olive oil as the third annual joint Olive & Lavender Festival returns on May 11. This year the olive side of the festival celebrates 20 years of bringing local growers and producers to the heart of the community.

We spoke with two of the best in olive and lavender on how you can best celebrate the annual Olive and Lavender Festival this year.

Hambly Farms


What do you enjoy most about this festival?

Gina Hambly: There are several things we enjoy. First, attending the Downtown Main Street Committee meetings, visiting with everyone, and contributing to the community. We live in such an amazing area that allows us to grow and craft so many wonderful goods — there is a great representation of that at this festival. Both Milton and I enjoy working at our booth; it gives us an opportunity to meet new people, share what we do, and see many customers and friends we haven’t seen in a while. Lastly, we get to share a part of what we do on the farm by bringing our 60-liter copper still to the event, and Milton gets to demonstrate the essential oil distillation process, showing how our estate-grown lavender essential oil is crafted.   

Groves on 41

Karen Tallent: The consistently enjoyable “foodies” the festival attracts are of all ages, and often, two to three generations enjoy the festival together.

What can people expect at the Olive and Lavender Festival, and do you have any tips for those attending?

GH: The park is filled with local olive and lavender growers, artisans, and crafters. There is something for everyone, from olive oil tasting to handcrafted lavender products, local nurseries with plants and trees, and handcrafted treats and goodies. New this year, in the center of the park at the gazebo, we are bringing in local distillers, craft beer, and wineries so you can enjoy locally crafted beverages while enjoying music, the park, and all that our wonder downtown has to offer.  

Tips for the day — make sure to follow OliveandLavenderFest on Instagram, where a vendor map will be posted. There is a program available with loads of information and happenings for the day located at the information booth near the park entrance at 12th Street and Park Street. Plan to spend a couple of hours or the whole day exploring the event and learning about local handcrafters and artisans, where you will find the best Paso has to offer. 

KT: Allow enough time to dawdle at choice booths. You are often talking to the farmer(s) who have developed, and enjoy sharing, their passion for what they do. Their stories and background are as varied as their product displays.

How do you see the Olive and Lavender Festival contributing to the promotion and appreciation of locally produced lavender/olive related products?

GH: We have the opportunity to promote our Lavender U-Pick Season, Lavender Farm Experiences, and workshops that are coming this summer. Hambly Farms collaborates with many other local artisan crafters and growers and are excited to bring their products with us- Lavender Honey Gelato by Leo Leo Gelato and Lavender Simple Syrup by YES Cocktail, Co to name a couple.

Each year we meet many people that are visiting, new to the area, or just want to buy locally grown & crafted products. This is a perfect opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of SLOCAL locally handcrafted and grown products in one space and enjoy a wonderful day in our Downtown City Park.

KT: The festival provides an eye-opening takeaway as to how a good, fresh, authentic olive oil is for you and how your palate can determine how fresh the product really is. When you are tasting olive oil and it catches the back of your throat and makes you want to cough, well those are the polyphenols at work. The more to want to cough, the higher that olive oil is in those great antioxidants!

The Olive & Lavender Festival is one of the few occasions you can taste smaller producers wares, compare the delightful flavors and meet the producers.

The Paso Robles Main Street Association event will be held Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Paso Robles Downtown City Park. For more information, visit


Copies of Paso Robles Press Magazine are directly delivered to 23,000 readers in zip codes 93446, 93451, and 93465 and 2,000 dropped with support from advertisers and subscribers. Together, we are Making Communities Better Through Print.™

To subscribe or advertise, click here.