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For the week of October 18 through 24, 2000

Photos by Willy Cook

Wild and woolly parade

Trailing of the Sheep draws record crowd


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Sheep-heads lined Main Street in Ketchum on Sunday afternoon to watch the fourth annual Trailing of the Sheep. The parade and associated festival drew a record crowd of 4,000 people for the weekend’s events, according to the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce.

A group of Basque Dancers from Boise, representing the Basque people’s history as sheep ranchers, danced down the street to start the parade. The Highlander Bagpipers, also from Boise, followed.

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, looking dapper in his cowboy hat and boots, walked down Main Street, to lead off the sheep portion of the parade. With him were state Rep. Wendy Jacquet, D-Ketchum, her husband and Ketchum city administrator Jim Jaquet and event coordinator Diane Josephy Peavey, who with her husband, John Peavey, owns the Flat Top Sheep Co.

o18sheep2.jpg (32614 bytes)Kempthorne was later joined by Jody Faulkner and two of her granddaughters, Michele and Tessa. The Faulkners, whose sheep were being trailed, have been based in Gooding since 1933. They are one of four families who still move their sheep regularly through the valley every year.

At last the herd of sheep, numbering approximately 1,600, paraded down Main Street, but not without some hesitation.

Apparently, the herd will not move without their bell-laden leader in front. Since the leader was elsewhere in the pack, the herd just keep turning around to head back --not helping were the many brightly clothed folks teeming Main Street while snapping photos.

When the leader was finally found and dragged forward, sheep being what they are, they hurriedly followed, their small hooves clacking softly as they made their way south. Volunteer shepherds, including 9-year-old Piper Andrews, wore red bandannas, helped inform people about the event and kept people from being trampled by the sheep.

"I like parades. It creates excitement," said Terry Ring from outside his Main Street store, Silver Creek Outfitters. "It’s a lot warmer than Wagon Days. I just hope no one gets gored."

The Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce said at least 20 states and Canada were represented and one family had come from Wales, England.

Before the start of the parade, Kempthorne met with other local pols in Starbucks on Main Street for coffee and pastry.

o18sheep5.jpg (34848 bytes)"I’ve looked forward to this with enthusiasm," he said. "Just walking through town has been wonderful."

He said he intended to wear the official Trailing of the Sheep sweatshirt, presented to him by Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce director Carol Waller, when he jogged to the Hemingway memorial Monday morning. The sweatshirt was designed by Peggy Woods of Northwest Design, said Sally Hanson of the Hailey Chamber of Commerce.

The governor also mused about the sheep herd’s reaction to the large "Eat Lamb" sign painted on the Lane Mercantile building, in which Starbucks now resides. He was assured that the sheep would not be able to see the sign.

Also at Starbucks was Ketchum Mayor Guy Coles, who told this reporter about his family, who were pioneering sheep ranchers in Idaho. His grandfather, Frank Gooding, for whom the town of Gooding is named, was Idaho governor and then U.S. senator in the early 1900s. At one time he was the largest sheep producer in the world, Coles said.

 

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