Planning for the third annual Idyllwild Lemon Lily Festival is underway. With its tripartite mission of fostering appreciation for this once abundant local flower, as well as providing public education and restoration, festival planners are in the process of organizing festival events, locations, schedules and monetary allocations to best accomplish festival goals.

They have decided that Town Hall will not be an event site and that most festival activities will take place at the Nature Center, off Highway 243 between Idyllwild and Pine Cove. While this location is consistent with the educative goals of festival planners, it may limit participation and support from local merchants and vendors, said longtime festival participant and local businessman Bryan Tallent.

Planners discussed whether in-town shuttle pickup locations would be sufficient to attract local merchant support and involvement. Tallent doubted it would.

A suggestion was made to revive a once successful bluegrass music festival and hold it in town in the late afternoon and early evening on one festival night. Similar to the successful Marshall Hawkins’ in-town jazz concerts that followed Jazz in the Pines, the music festival could be held in the downtown core, giving local merchants and restaurants more of a link with the festival itself.

A VIP fundraiser was also discussed. It could be held in Alpen Woods, site of one of the most successful festival venues, a streamside viewing of lilies in their natural habitat. Erin O’Neill proffered her home and grounds for this event and the committee decided to research the possibility further.

Already confirmed events are A Taste-of-Idyllwild, with food prepared by participating town restaurants, art exhibitions, interpretive nature walks, silent auctions, educational programs and talks, and live musical entertainment at the Nature Center festival site.

The festival will take place Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22. The festival planning committee is still seeking volunteers. Contact the Nature Center at (951) 659-3850 with questions about the event or if interested in joining its production.