Finally! Despite the still-ongoing pandemic (this time it’s the Omicron version) we are having our 2022 Festival. It seems like forever since we have all been together, and hopefully we will never again have to experience anything like the past two years. Given that it’s been so long since we have been able to have a Festival, will we be able to stand the excitement? We think the answer is a resounding “YES!!!!! BRING IT ON!!!! We are ready to go!
While we are very excited to be meeting, greeting, showing, spinning, and experiencing all things sheep, all of us in the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association, many of our vendors, and anyone having anything to do with the Festival should be able to say that despite the pandemic the virtual Festivals of 2020 (that was a learn as we go!) and 2021 were a success for nearly everyone involved.
For 2022, we will be featuring a new event mentioned in our 2020 catalog, which, unfortunately, we were not able to pull off “virtually” – the Creative Shearing Competition! The participant shearers will be bringing all of their talent to bear to “sculp” a unique creation with their sheep. Come to the Show Ring Saturday at noon to see these living “works of art”! We will also have an early medieval living history encampment down by our Lower Corral (near the Sheepdog Demonstration ring), with re-enactors showing us how it was all done in the Scandinavian and Celtic regions between the years 800-1000.
As you browse the catalog and wesbite, you will notice that some of our activities have been relocated to the new Main Exhibition Annex! We are excited to have this shiny, new building to highlight several competitions – Sheep-to-Shawl (at the rear), Junior Spinning, Skein & Garment, Fine Arts, Sheep Photography, and Sheep Promotion. Fiber Arts Demonstrations, Fiber Arts Seminars (two on Wednesday), and Make It With Wool can also be found in the new venue. Additionally, our Retail Sales will be relocated to the Bingo Hall and the Fleece Show & Sale will be relocated to the Howard 4-H Exhibit Building. Be sure to visit each of these locations – you might find something new and exciting!
This year, 2022, is our 49th Annual Festival. 2023, our 50th Anniversary, will be a “special edition” Festival. Many of us are already working on things that will make the 2023 Festival especially memorable for anyone involved and everyone attending.
Until we meet in May, take care and stay well – we’re looking forward to seeing you all!
Jeff White, President, Maryland Sheep Breeders Association
Gwen Handler, Chairperson, Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival
We dedicate this year’s festival to EVERYONE – all of the spectators, exhibitors, vendors, committee members, volunteers, and others – who stayed home and stayed safe and stuck with us through two virtual festivals and are now chomping at the bit to attend in person once again. Welcome back! And if you just found out about us during one of the virtual festivals, we hope you are able to join us in person this year. You are in for an experience that is far greater than you can imagine!
With over 900,000 souls lost to the pandemic in this country, we also dedicate this festival to all those who have been lost in our extended festival family and beyond.