New and Noteworthy for 2017
New Festival Hours and Admission Fee
We are proud that for 43 years we were able to provide the Festival experience free of charge to the public. A few years ago we began inviting voluntary donations, and we are enormously grateful for the generosity reflected in your willingness to contribute. We have relied heavily on those donations, as the continued success and growth of the Festival have made the job of “putting it on” bigger and more expensive. At the same time, we’ve been teetering on the edge of overwhelming our dedicated volunteers, who are the heart of the Festival. Therefore, this year, for the first time, we will be charging an admission fee.
Important things to know:
- The admission fee is $5.00 per day and applies to adults only; everyone under 18 will be admitted free.
- Gates will now open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. This will be strictly enforced. Early entry will no longer be permitted.
- Gates will open at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday to accommodate those wishing to attend the Breakfast Buffet and Sheep-to-Shawl Contest. The official start time will still be 8:30; VENDORS WILL NOT BE OPEN UNTIL 8:30!
- Tickets may be purchased in advance at https://sheepandwool.eventbrite.com. A processing fee of $1.24 per ticket will be added.
- Cash or check only at the gate. There will be an exact change lane, so bring your $5 bills!
We appreciate your patience as we go through this year’s transition.
New Online Registration Process for Fiber Arts Workshops, Shepherd Seminars and Family Activities
We are using Eventbrite as our registration process this year for Fiber Arts Workshops, Shepherd Workshops and Family Activities. We think it is much more user friendly than the process we have used in the past, and should eliminate the problems we have had with oversold seats. You can access our Eventbrite online registration page at https://sheepandwool.eventbrite.com. You will also be able to use Eventbrite to buy admission tickets, order catalogs, buy meal tickets, and make donations.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted.
Featured Breed: Romney
Stop by the Featured Breed Showcase Tent to learn more about our 2017 Featured Breed, the American Romney. Look for special Romney prizes in the Fleece Show and Skein & Garment Competition. We are also pleased to host the National Romney Sale as part of the All Breeds Sheep Sale on Saturday evening.
New Sunday Lectures
This year, we have added two exciting lectures on Sunday in the 4-H Hall by knitting legends Lily Chin and Franklin Habit.
- 11:00 am to 12:00 pm – Design Inspiration with Lily Chin.
- 1:00 am to 2:00 pm – B is for Purl–A Brief History of the Knitting Pattern with Franklin Habit.
Fee: $5, payable at the door on a first come, first served basis.
New Supreme Maryland Fleece award in the Sheep Show
All Maryland exhibitors with sheep entered in the Sheep Show may bring one animal to the supreme drive to compete for this award. The animal must be bred and owned by the exhibitor and have been shown in one of the breed shows or natural colored or white wool divisions. Animals will be judged on excellence of fleece only. A monetary award of $50 and a special ribbon will be given for the animal with the best fleece.
Changes for All Breeds Sheep Sale
Beginning this year, the Festival is waiving the sponsor’s surcharge (2% of the gross price) that had been deducted from the seller’s check in the past.
Changes for Fleece Show & Sale
The Fleece Show & Sale has announced an increase in entry fees. The fee for Sale Only fleeces is now $4.00 per fleece; while the fee for Show & Sale fleeces is now $7.00 per fleece. Once again, NO LATE ENTRIES will be accepted. All fleeces must be pre-registered and entry forms RECEIVED by NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2017. No new entries the day of fleece delivery. Changes to entry information (including weights) will continue to incur a $1.00 fee per fleece.
Second Annual Knit-Along for Charity
We are pleased to announce that the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day initiative is returning to host our second annual Knit-Along for charity. You are invited to become a Knitwit for Nelson Mandela! If you are coming to the Festival but can’t attend the Knit-Along, you are invited to either make a blanket or contribute squares to be made into blankets. Collection boxes will be located throughout the grounds.
Festival Farm Market Returns for Third Year
Our Festival Farm Market near the main gate returns for its third year, featuring local pasture raised lamb cuts and other edible goodies. There will be entertainment, and cooking demonstrations, too! Don’t forget to shop for our original American lamb, honey and cheese products (both sheep’s milk and goat’s milk) located in the Home Arts Building. Bring your cooler!