Hays’ first Herb Day — and apparently only the second in Kansas — will debut Saturday.
Members of the Hays Public Library’s Herb Study Group have traveled to the Wichita Herb Day in May for years. Group director Pam Herl said she was unable to find any other herb day celebration in the state, and jokingly suggested to Kansas Room Librarian Marissa Lamer the group should have its own.
“She said ‘Why not? We can do it,’ ” Herl said.
Planning for the day began in February, and while Herl said that was a short time to plan, she said the library has put together a well-rounded day of presentations. The day will also include an open-air market for herbs and other plants at the Downtown Pavilion, 106 W. 12th.
“We wanted to bring in speakers that people would not normally hear,” she said.
Presentations will include a cooking demonstration and talks on lavender, brewing with hops —the herb of the year, as chosen by the International Herb Association — and the benefits of bees and honey.
Door prizes will be drawn every hour, with prizes associated with each presentation.
“If this is a success, then it will be back next April,” Lamer said.
“It will always be the last Saturday in April,” Herl said. “We decided we’d do it toward the later part of April because it’s getting warmed up and things and greening up and hopefully we’ll have better weather toward the end of April.
“Hopefully it gets bigger and better every year,” she said.
The Herb Study Group meets at 5 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month at the library. The first Tuesday is always a craft-oriented project, while the second meeting is educational. There is no fee or registration required.
“We are a study group. We encourage people to just drop in,” Herl said.