Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Fresh Scent of Lilacs, Fun in Julian


Last updated 4/28/2023 at 10:51am

Starting April 8, the 8th Annual Lilac Festival will be back, taking place Saturday’s and Sunday’s, and will go on for about three to four weeks, depending on the weather.

Activities like archery, tomahawk throwing, slingshot range, farm animal visit, reptile show, spring wagon rides, hoedowns & jug band shows, and much more. Free activities included with a $5 admission include the lilac maze, walking trails, tire swings, tug-o-war, and other old time games on the farm.

Fort Cross is the largest lilac farm in Southern California that sells fresh cut bouquets directly to the public, and will have different lilac varieties available for purchase seven days a week as soon as the flowers are in bloom. There are about 10 different varieties of lilacs that range in color from white, pink, and light to dark purples.

Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, an outdoor educational farm that specializes in living history field trips, is also home to 5 acres of beautifully fragrant mountain lilacs near the town of Julian. This small family business run by husband and wife team, Jesse and Doreen Cross, is something that few people know about but is steadily becoming a popular field trip and tourist destination.

“Lilac season is one of the most anticipated times of the year for us because the farm is so fragrant and beautiful in full bloom,” Doreen Cross, co-owner of Fort Cross, said. “We meet people from all over the world that are so happy to find a place with lilacs because they grew up in an area that had them as well. It’s nostalgic for so many, and it feels good to see everyone so happy to be here!”

Tickets for activities may be purchased through the website here:

It is recommended to buy ahead of time to guarantee your place in the day’s events. Walk-in participation will be dependent upon open availability for activities.

Throughout the year, Fort Cross also offers U-pick berries and vegetables, an Autumn Jubilee with a pumpkin patch and cider pressing, and a Holiday Hayride event Thanksgiving weekend. Living History Field Trip events are offered year round.

For more information on all of the events that Fort Cross has to offer, visit their website at