Best Sheep and Wool Festivals in New England
Late spring is the season when New England sheep get their hair cut, and celebrations have sprung up all across the region to make a festive occasion of the event, sometimes with food, crafts, games, historical actors, competitions, and (of course) shearing demonstrations with our favorite wooly friends. Check out some top events honoring all things sheep and wool!
Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place — Waltham, MA
Held on the historic grounds at Gore Place, the festival features demonstrations of sheepshearing, herding dogs, spinning and weaving, a crafts fair with 88 vendors, food, live music, performers, wagon rides, historic re-enactors, and more.
April 26, 2014; (781) 894-2798; goreplace.org/sheepshearing
Sheep Shearing & Herding Weekend at Billings Farm & Museum — Woodstock, VT
Enjoy a weekend devoted to Southdown sheep and their Border Collie friends. Watch the spring shearing of the farm’s ewes and demonstrations of Border Collies herding sheep in the farm fields. Admission includes a children’s art show and the 28th annual spring commemorative button.
May 3-4, 2014; (802) 457-2355; billingsfarm.org/programs-events/special_events/Shearing_Herding.html
Sheep & Wool Festival — Deerfield, NH
Alpacas, llamas, and sheep, oh my! And don’t forget the border collies. Held at the Deerfiled Fairgrounds this year, you’ll be able to watch the action at the sheepdog trials and the best-in-show competition. Also enjoy exhibits and demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and shearing, and take in informative sessions on caring for the animals.
May 10-11, 2014; nhswga.com
Rhode Island Sheep and Fiber Festival — Bristol, RI
Meet craftspeople as they demonstrate traditional and contemporary fiber arts on the grounds of Coggeshall Farm; purchase your own textile supplies, equipment, and gifts to take home; watch the hand-shearing of the sheep, and help with 18th-century textile and farm work.
May 17, 2014; coggeshallfarm.org
Wool Days — Sturbridge, MA
It’s the kickoff weekend for Old Sturbridge Village’s 1830s-style summer games — and haircut time for the sheep. Historians will demonstrate how wool is processed, from shearing, scouring, and carding, to dyeing, spinning, and weaving.
May 24-26, 2014; osv.org/event/wool-days