• Josh Rouse

Daughter takes the helm at Lavender Valley Festival (The Lawton Constitution)

Lavender Valley Acres will host its annual Lavender Festival Saturday the first without founder Jag Sodhi, who died last year. Anita Sodhi Thomasser assumed the operation after her father's death last year and has spent the time since cleaning up the grounds and hosting several open house events and other activities around the Caddo County agriculture tourism attraction, but this is the biggest event of the year. She said it's the one event that was most defined by her father's personality, and she has a lot to live up to. "I'm nervous, very nervous," Thomasser said. "There's a mix of excitement and nervousness and sadness because I want to make him proud. There's some sadness because this was his event. It's very him." The 12th annual Lavender Festival will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for military and seniors and free for children 12 and under. The first 100 guests will receive a $5 lavender gift. Guests will get to enjoy entertainment provided by a belly dancing troupe from Oklahoma City and Apache rock band Grizzleheads. More than 20 vendors will be on-hand with various wares. Thomasser said lavender cookies and tea will be provided, along with chicken curry and hamburgers and hotdogs. She will offer three lavender growing seminars at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. for anyone who would like to learn more about planting and nurturing lavender. And of course, lavender plants will be for sale.

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