October 30, 2012
The Trailing of the Sheep Festival, held this past October 11 - 14 was amazing. The Sun Valley are (home to the famed Ski Restort) was filled with tourists and locals alike in search of all thinks lamb! And noone was dissappointed. There were free lamb tastings at some of Ketchums finest restaurants on Friday night, followed by a gathering of women writers from the West, sharing their stories about raising themselves, their families and sheep on ranches throughout Idao and the West. On Saturday, the city of Hailey (everything is within 14 miles) was the place to be. The Folklife Fair had everything from great entertainment - Basque Dancers, Scottish Bagpipes, Peruvian music and so much more - to craftsmen selling everything wooly - and Hailey's best restaurants prepared lamb dishes of all sorts, for a very reasonable lunch ticket. Along with all this, throughout the weekend, there were lectures and lamb shearing, fleece judging, kids activities, wool crafting classes, cooking classes, museum exhibits, and a couple very special presentations by Linda Cortwright, Founder and editor of Wild Fibers Magazine. The Festival is also home to a Points Qualifying Sheepdog Trial. This year 54 dogs competed to pen 5 wild sheep after herding them through a course in 12 minutes. It is an amazing sight to watch these dog work the sheep. The Festival is a stand alone 501 c 3 and raises the funds each year to bring the Festival to life with all events free or for a minimal charge. The biggest event closes the Festival with a parade of 1500 sheep "trailing" down Main Street in Ketchum - which isn't staged - it is the rancher's right of way to bring the sheep from their summer to winter grazing lands.
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