Find Your Inner Flower at the Antelope Valley Poppy Fest

The poppy bloom was, well, small. But the party will party on, in the AV.

What to Know

  • April 21 and 22
  • $10 adult, $5 child
  • Lancaster

Any teacher from your past would tell you what we're about to tell you, or a parent, or a good friend, or someone who wants you to buck up and carry on: Sometimes you have to be the poppy.

Well... Maybe their sage words of advice wouldn't come in that specific form, exactly.

But you get where we stand with this one: If life isn't delivering exactly what you need, you have to become the thing you need, at least in spirit and outlook.

Which is all to say this: The always-anticipated big bloom didn't arrive at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve this spring, or, really, even a medium bloom, thanks to a drier winter and warmer days. "Every year will be different," says a Facebook response from the reserve staff, and that is true.

You can, though, be the flower. 

In other words, you can pay homage to the beauty, magic, and orange-a-tude of the California poppy at its annual party, which is still very much on: It's the Antelope Valley Poppy Festival, in Lancaster, and we have a feeling that poppy people need this two-day celebration now more than ever.

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It's got a sweet family feel to it, with live tunes, an Adventure Zone (yep, there's a Petting Zoo), a Farmers Market, a Sunday car show, all sorts of classic festival eats, and the Sea Lion Splash.

A ticket is $10 for an adult, $5 for a child ages 6 to 12, $5 for a senior 62+. The place is Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park.

And while the blanket of poppies didn't spread out, as hoped, at the Poppy Reserve, we're still seeing clutches of the bright buds popping up, in yards and parks, as we enter April's final third.

Inspiring us to find that inner flower. And, of course, to look to 2019, and the lovely AV, when rain, temperatures, and a line-up of other factors deliver us the poppy scene we long for (oh please oh please).

The Antelope Valley Poppy Festival blossoms on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22.

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