New and Noteworthy for 2018

Festival Hours and Admission Fee

  • The admission fee is $5.00 per day and applies to adults only; everyone under 18 will be admitted free.
  • Gates will 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 A processing fee of $1.27 per ticket will be added. There will be separate entry lane(s) to have advance tickets scanned.
  • Cash or check only at the gate. There will be an exact change lane, so bring your $5 bills!

Featured Breed: Natural Colored Sheep

Stop by the Featured Breed Showcase Tent to learn more about our 2018 Featured Breed, the Natural Colored Sheep, brought to you by the Natural Colored Wool Growers Association (NCWGA). “Natural Colored” is not a breed, of course—Festival visitors will see many different breeds of sheep that are not white on the fairgrounds. See their story here. For more Natural Colored Sheep, stop by the Show Ring on Saturday and watch the NCWGA National Show.

National Lincoln Show and Sale

The National Lincoln Sale will be part of the All Breeds Sheep Sale on Saturday evening, with a pre-sale show at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. The National Lincoln Show will be held in the Show Ring on Sunday.

Folk School Demonstrations

Historic John C. Campbell Folk School of Brasstown, North Carolina will be offering demonstrations in spinning, weaving, dyeing, basketry, and broom making. Stop by the Folk School Demo Tent throughout the weekend to learn more about the oldest folk school in the United States, and enter to win tuition for a weeklong class of your choice!

Demonstrations in the Festival Farm Market

Come to the Big Tent in the Festival Farm Market, located just inside the main gate, for cooking and cheesemaking demonstrations with local chefs and cheesemakers. A special guest this year will be Chef David Kane from Asheville, North Carolina, Executive Chef and Head Butcher with Foothills Local Meats, a company devoted to utilizing whole animals sourced exclusively from local pastures. Check the sign board outside the tent for demonstration times.

Cheesemaking Demonstrations in the Home Arts Building

Join Alicia Clugh of the Maryland Cheese Guild on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the Home Arts Building as she demonstrates fun, easy cheeses that can be made at home. No fancy equipment required! Recipes to take home.

Free Shepherd Seminars on Saturday in the Dining Hall

Sunday Lectures in the 4-H Hall

This year, we have two exciting lectures on Sunday in the 4-H Hall:

Fee: $5, payable at the door on a first come, first served basis.

New $100 Maryland Shepherds Cup prize in the Fleece Show & Sale

The newly established Maryland Shepherds Cup prize in the Fleece Show recognizes consistent excellence in the production of handspinning fleeces by wool producers in Maryland. The winner will be judged to have entered the best set of five handspinning fleeces from an individual Maryland shepherd. This award is offered in remembrance of Mary Ann Jackson, shepherd at Spinning Flock Farm. The award includes a perpetual trophy inscribed with the name of each year’s winner plus a $100 prize.

2018 Catalog Cover Art Competition Winner

Congratulations to Sally Drew of Olney, MD for her winning entry in the 2018 Cover Art Competition.

Schedule of Events

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The National Lincoln Show is just one of two national shows we are hosting this year. Entry information is available at and online entry is available at The deadline for entries is April 1.

The National Lincoln Sale will be held as part of our All Breeds Sheep Sale. The pre-sale show will be at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and the sale will be at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. For entry information, visit the Banner Sale Management website at The entry deadline is March 10.
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The Festival website at has been updated for 2018, and our Eventbrite site at is up and running for advance ticket sales, catalog orders, and registration for our Fiber Arts Workshops, Shepherd Workshops, and Family Activities. ... See MoreSee Less

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