Chamber receives award for sheep festival
Express Staff Writer
The Wood River Valleyís Trailing of the Sheep Festival
is now more than a local event. Itís a state-acclaimed local event.
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne on Friday recognized the Sun
Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce with an Outstanding Cultural Tourism
award for the chamber-coordinated annual event, which highlights parading
sheep through downtown Ketchum.
The award is presented to a project or event that
"best showcases Idahoís cultural tourism offerings," according
to the stateís eligibility standards.
Kempthorne presented eight awards to individuals and
organizations around the state who engage in promoting tourism and
recreation in Idaho.
"I thank all the winners of the 2001 Take Pride in
Idaho Awards for their tireless efforts at promoting tourism and
recreation in the state of Idaho," Kempthorne said. "These
individuals and groups represent the best Idaho has to offer, and they are
a big reason why tourism is a $1.7 billion dollar industry."
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival began in 1997 as a way
to recognize and celebrate the history and culture of the men and women in
Idahoís sheep industry. The Wood River Valley was once one of the
largest sheep-shipping locations in the world.
"Itís a wonderful honor," chamber executive
director Carol Waller said. "The event is definitely growing. I think
the attendance doubled between last year and this year."
Waller pointed out that the event is a cooperative effort
among a number of local organizations, including the Hailey Chamber of
Commerce and the College of Southern Idaho.
Cultural and heritage tourism is the fastest growing
segment of United States travel, Waller pointed out. Thatís probably
helping the young Trailing of the Sheep Festival, approaching its seventh
In 2000, about 3,000 visitors and local residents took
part in the sheep festival activities.