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 40th Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival 2013.
Once again, it’s January and I’m starting to see lambs on the ground—a welcome and wonderful sign of renewal. This year, I’m reflecting about the changes we’ve seen over 40 years of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. In 1973, we began as a Carroll County craft festival that was mainly intended to be a place where hand-spinners could buy fleeces at auction. Now we celebrate all things sheep and wool, and we are the premier festival of its kind in the world.
Every year, we look forward to a special event that brings us culture and craft from around the world—or from a nearby resource. This year, we are lucky to host two artisans from the indigenous Peruvian villages along the shores of Lake Siustani, where hundreds of women knit and weave beautiful caps, gloves, scarves, mats, tablecloths, and blankets from naturally dyed yarns of alpaca and wool. Appreciation for the style, color, and quality of their work has spread internationally and has resulted in invitations to display their products in the Smithsonian Institution and the Inter-American Foundation. Be sure to visit our guests in the Special Exhibit tent in front of the 4-H Hall. They will have their wares for sale.
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.
Festival expenses continue to rise, so please consider giving a donation to support this special event. Come join us and enjoy the educational opportunities, auctions, animals, ongoing entertainment, and vendors.
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