Planning for the fifth-annual Lemon Lily Festival is underway. Shelley Kibby, new festival chair, is organizing the two-day festival for the weekend of July 12 and 13; but the whole event will kick off Friday night with the traditional Lemon Lily Launch.

The 2014 festival’s mission is to educate the public of the plight of the lemon lily and to restore the lily to its native habitat on the Hill. And to attract attendance to the festival, planners will continue the recent inclusion of providing a stage for bluegrass music at the town site. Activities will be available again at the Nature Center, too.

The effect of the drought on the native lilies was a concern for their visibility during the 2013 festival. The committee discussed it briefly and committee member Erin O’Neill expressed some fear that, “We may be disappointed about seeing lilies in bloom or they may appear very early, as the daffodils were doing in Mountain Center last week.”

Committee members realize that festival attendees want to see the lily and particularly see it blooming in native habitat, but the committee recognizes that tours and site visits may be limited this year because of lack of rainfall.

At last week’s session, preliminary discussions indicated that the in-town activities, with the music, will generally be the same as previous years, according to Kibby.

One change is that Mimi Lamp, owner of The Higher Grounds, is assuming leadership of the committee overseeing creating the Lemon Lily banners that have flown over the town in recent years.

“I’m so excited to have Mimi Lamp as the coordinator of the Artists Banners this year,” Kibby said. “She has some great ideas about getting the banners out into town since she has the Higher Grounds coffee shop and it is centrally located.”

Riley Farms will return to the Nature Center, according to Nature Center Interpreter Jotyi Kintz. Visitors will be able to watch rope making, candle dipping and other daily activities from another era.

The committee also plans to continue last year’s addition of speakers during the two days. At this point, returnees include Dr. Jen Gee of the James Reserve, Kate Kramer, former biologist for the San Jacinto Ranger District, and Dave Stith, one of the festival’s original founders. And other speakers are being considered.

Besides the festival’s Steering Committee, which meets at the Nature Center, a Town Biz sub-committee, organizing the in-town activities, meets regularly at Jo’An’s.