The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is one of the largest Festivals of its kind celebrating all that is sheep or wool related. With over 250 vendors, more than 1,000 sheep, and workshops, food, and entertainment, there is something for everyone. Check out the sheep dog or sheep shearing demonstrations, learn how to prepare lamb, take a spinning class, or shop for a variety of fleece, yarn and roving. The Parade of Breeds will introduce you to a large variety of sheep breeds, and the Sheep to Shawl Contest will demonstrate shearing, carding, spinning, and weaving a final product in just a few hours. There are auctions and sales for sheep equipment, fiber equipment, and fleeces. You can get many new ideas from the beautiful products on display from our many competitions. Come join us for a fun-filled day!
Letter from the Chairman
Welcome to the 41st Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2014.
Once again, it’s January and I’m starting to see lambs on the ground—a welcome and wonderful sign of renewal.
When the Festival started over 40 years ago, it was mainly intended to be a place where hand-spinners could buy fleeces at auction. At the 1974 festival, there were 47 buyers. Last year, at the 2013 Festival, more than 800 fleeces from 163 producers were sold to 331 buyers. This year, we will have an entire building dedicated to fleeces. Look for our redesigned Fleece Show & Sale in the Farm & Garden Building, next door to Festival T-Shirt Sales.
Of course, what would a celebration of all things sheep and wool be without sheep? This year we are pleased to announce a new event, a ewe and ewe lamb sale which will occur on Friday night. Ewes, fall ewe lambs and spring ewe lambs of all breeds registered in a recognized registry association will be offered for sale.
Looking ahead to 2015, we are excited to announce that Leicester Longwools will be our first Showcase Breed of the Year. If your breed association is interested in being the Showcase Breed for 2016, please contact the festival office.
If you are new to the Festival, expect wonderful adventure and education. The Festival Committee has created a feast for the senses this year. Taste lamb cooked by area chefs, talk to shepherds, enjoy the many presentations and exhibits, and discover a multitude of opportunities to buy materials, supplies, and finished goods from more than 200 vendors.
Admire more than 1,000 sheep and then learn from the shepherds who tend more than 40 different breeds in a living display. Watch the craft of sheepdogs nudging sheep into pens. Attend one or more of the many classes and seminars on fiber arts offered before and during the event weekend.
Come join us and enjoy the educational opportunities, auctions, animals, ongoing entertainment, and vendors. Festival expenses continue to rise, so please donate generously on our website or at one of the yellow donation boxes at the main entrance and other points around the fairgrounds.
Remember that we are an all-volunteer committee, and we are always happy to have new faces join our committee either on Festival weekend or behind the scenes during the year.
Gwen Handler, Festival Chairman