The WNC Chapter of the N.C. Herb Association marked its 25th anniversary with the annual spring Asheville Herb Festival this weekend. With visions of this year’s gardening adventures, visitors flocked to the festival, looking to stock up garden staples as well as to track down a number of unique varieties. The festival operated under the tagline “If It’s Herbs, It’s Here.”
Organizers estimated the festival’s potential attendance at over 35,000, a number that seemed low given the surging early morning crowds. Attendees at the festival ranged from families toting small children to retirees pacing the aisles, lists in hand.
The Asheville Herb Festival included a wide variety of offerings including native flora, culinary herbs, natural herbal products, traditional flower garden varieties, hot sauce, early spring produce and rare finds. It seemed that those in attendance were having a hard time walking away empty-handed; few people made it around the entire circuit without accumulating at least a flat of plants. A number of attendees came with wagons in tow, clearly prepared for a large haul.
This year’s festival featured information and exhibits from Bee City USA and the Center for Honeybee Research, demonstrating the importance of bees as natural pollinators and to raising awareness of the looming impacts of colony collapse.
Vendors tended to come from nearby with only a small handful of vendors coming from more than an hour or two away. Vendors appeared to be happy with this year’s attendance with some claiming stronger Sunday business than years past.