By Denise Huntington & Doug Yagaloff, 2011 Festival Co-Chairs, and From Members of the 2011 Festival Steering Committee

The community of Idyllwild and Festival organizers welcome you to Idyllwild’s 2nd-annual Lemon Lily Festival. The 2010 Festival was a huge success and a first step in accomplishing the three ongoing goals of our mission: celebration, education and restoration of our precious native wildflower, the Lemon Lily (Lilium parryi).

Last summer, Idyllwild turned out to celebrate our Lemon Lily and to welcome the thousands of visitors who made the trip up the Hill to join us. Local community groups planned and produced many events. Hundreds of Idyllwild residents became Lemon Lily experts and educators and volunteered as Lemon Lily Ambassadors throughout the weekend.

Lemon lily

The Festival Steering Committee has been working hard to make sure this year’s festival will be even better. We now know so much more about the Lemon Lily than when we began two years ago. We have surveyed more areas of the mountain, grown Lemon Lilies in our greenhouse at the Idyllwild Nature Center, and watched the bulbs and seeds planted last October come to life, just as we had hoped.

This year’s three days of celebration, July 15, 16 and 17, are designed to focus on the current plight and fragile status of the San Jacinto Mountains’ Lemon Lilies so that locals and visitors will take it upon themselves to be their guardians and assist in their propagation.

Pioneer Town at Town Hall takes you back to Idyllwild 100 years ago when the Lemon Lilies were at their peak and helps us all to focus attention on the need for conservation and restoration of this precious wildflower to its original home range. Last year’s in-town activities were such a big hit that we’ve extended them to two full days at Town Hall.

The Nature Center will provide activities that focus on the natural environment in which the flower flourishes. Activities include seminars on the Lemon Lily, riparian nature walks to where this native wildflower lives along Lilly Creek, art and crafts focused on the beauty of the lily, and children’s carnival games with a Lemon Lily theme.

Throughout Idyllwild there will be music, art, food and fun! Nowhere else in Riverside County will a family have so much opportunity for fun this weekend. Free shuttles will carry you to festival venues. Young and old will gain a better appreciation of the importance of protecting our Mountain and its resources.

As you enjoy the Lemon Lily Festival, please remember that our work — we are all volunteers — is about protecting and preserving our Lemon Lily. Through education, celebration and restoration we strive to be a model of community involvement and action. Help support our work through participation and financial gifts (through the non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, Friends of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks). All contributions are tax deductible.

Have a wonderful, fun-packed and educational weekend!

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