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. Many include food, crafts, games, historical actors, and competitions, and more — but all (naturally) promise to demonstrate how to properly shear our favorite wooly friends. Curious? Be sure to check out one of our picks for the best sheep and wool festivals in New England!
Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place (Saturday – April 25, 2015)
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. goreplace.org/sheepshearing
Shearing & Herding Weekend at Billings Farm and Museum (May 2-3, 2015)
At Billings Farm and Musuem, enjoy a weekend devoted to Southdown sheep and their Border Collie friends. Watch the spring shearing of the farm’s ewes, spinning and carding demonstrations, and a chance to watch the talented Border Collies herding sheep in the farm fields. There’s also a children’s art show. billingsfarm.org
Sheep & Wool Festival (May 9-10, 2015)
Alpacas, llamas, and sheep, oh my! And don’t forget the border collies. Held at the Deerfield 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. nhswga.com
Rhode Island Wool and Fiber Festival (Saturday – May 16, 2015)
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. There are kids’ crafts and games, acoustic music, and local handcrafted foods, too. coggeshallfarm.org
Wool Days (May 23-25, 2015)
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. osv.org
Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.