Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trailing of the Sheep set for Oct. 9-12

Culture of wool, lamb celebrated in north and south valley


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer


The final highlight of the annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival is the parade of some 2,000 ewes down Main Street in Ketchum.
Express photo by Willy Cook

    This time of year, sheep cultures around the Northern Hemisphere bring their animals down from summer pastures in the high country. The annual ritual is often accompanied by celebrations of cultural heritage, food and music.
    The Wood River Valley’s 18th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival takes place Oct. 9-12, celebrating a region that used to be one of the largest wool-producing areas in the U.S. For more than 150 years, sheep have been a part of Blaine County history.
    The four-day festival includes numerous activities in multiple venues, from Sun Valley to Hailey. The Folk Life Fair features Basque, Scottish, Polish and Peruvian dancers and music, sheep shearing, sheep wagon displays, storytelling sessions, sheep and wool exhibits, children’s activities and lamb dishes created by local chefs. The events also include a two-day Championship Sheepdog Trial with 50 of the most talented border collies in the U.S.
    The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is living history. The events take place prior to an actual sheep drive that will bring a flock of 2,000 ewes down Main Street in Ketchum and southward to Hailey. Father Ken Brannon of St. Thomas Episcopal Church will conduct a “blessing the flock” as they pass through Ketchum.
    The four-day festival has garnered its share of top accolades, including recognition as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by msn.com travel, Top Ten U.S. Fall Festivals by smartertravel.com, and Top Ten Fall Festivals by USA Today. The festival has been named one of the greatest cultural events in the West by Northwest Travel, and is the recipient of the Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage.
    This year, the festival begins a three-year program called “Celebrating Generations,” during which participants will be invited to share stories from the West. Ranching families will be attending from around the West to share their stories and help trail the sheep through the Wood River Valley.
    Highlights of the
festival include:
Thursday through Sunday:Lamb-cooking classes at various venues.
Friday: Ketchum’s Western Folklife Center and Heritage Museum Presentation & Open House: “The History of American Sheep Ranching in the West and the Ranching Heritage of the Wood River Valley,” at Community Library, 419 Spruce Ave., Ketchum.  From 3-4:30 p.m. Free.
    Sheep Tales Gathering featuring Hank Volger and other renowned storytellers at 7 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre, Ketchum. $20 for adults.
Saturday and Sunday: Championship Sheepdog Trials at Quigley Canyon field in east Hailey (dawn to dusk). Organized by the International Dog Handlers and Stock Dog Association, this two-day trial is sanctioned by the U.S. Border Collie Handlers Association.
Saturday: Sheep Folk Life Fair at Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This popular fair provides demonstrations of sheep shearing, displays of sheep wagons, crafts for children, spinning and weaving demonstrations by regional and local artisans and lamb dishes served by top chefs and restaurants. The fair includes performances by Peruvian musicians and dancers, Oinkari Basque dancers, Boise Highlanders, Scottish bagpipers, drummers and dancers, and the Polish Highlanders folk musicians and dancers.
Sunday: “History of Sheepherding in the Wood River Valley” at Starbucks and the Sun Valley Visitor Center, Sun Valley Road, Ketchum, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
    Trailing of the Sheep Parade at noon. Main Street, Ketchum. Join an authentic trailing of the sheep down Ketchum’s Main Street.    
    For more information, go to www.trailingofthesheep.org.
Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.