Cancellation of the 2020 Festival

With regret that is beyond words, we are announcing the cancellation of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival for the first time in our 47 year history. We had originally intended to reassess the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak at the beginning of April, but the ever-increasing bad news in terms of the virus and its effects, and the increasing government restrictions on public gatherings that we do not see being lifted in time for the festival have led us to follow the lead of national, state, and county authorities and make this extremely difficult decision.

We realize that there are many of you that will be disappointed, and, beyond disappointment, we realize that for many vendors the business they do at the Festival is the single biggest contributor to their annual income. However, we want all of you, your communities, and everyone you interact with to stay safe and well, so we feel that this is the correct decision to make at this time.

Because of the complexity involved in planning this event—over 53 different committees, plus several hundred committee members and volunteers—rescheduling the Festival for a later date is not a viable option. We are looking into things we can do to help our vendors, such as the possibility of providing some kind of online virtual marketplace. Some of you have expressed an interest in purchasing t-shirts even if we don’t have a Festival, so that is something else we will be looking into. Stay tuned for further information.

Refunds will automatically be given to everyone who registered online for Fiber Arts Seminars, Shepherd Workshops, or Family Activities. Entry fees for the Sheep Shows, Fleece Show & Sale, and Sheep-to-Shawl entries will also be returned. If you paid for a 2020 catalog, we will apply that money to a catalog for next year. If you purchased admission tickets, we will be happy to give you a refund, but ask that you consider donating your admission fee to the Festival to help defray the expenses that have gone in to planning the Festival thus far, as well as any fees we may incur because of this unanticipated cancellation. If you wish to request a refund of your admission fee, you may do so by going to “Tickets” in your Eventbrite account, finding your order, then selecting “Request a Refund”; or by emailing . If you do not request a refund, we will assume you have chosen to donate your admission fee. We are also going to leave the “Donate” ticket option open at https://mswf2020.eventbrite.com/ for those of you who would like to make an extra donation to help us out.

Please remember to take care of yourselves and to take care of one another, and join is for the 48th annual Festival on May 1 & 2, 2021.

3/19/20 Update

Because the 2020 catalogs were all printed before the decision was made to cancel the Festival, we have decided to go ahead and mail catalogs to everyone who ordered one, and we are reopening catalog sales at https://mswf2020.eventbrite.com/. We have a couple of thousand of them that would normally be given away at the Festival sitting on pallets at the fairgrounds, and we’d love to get rid of them. So order a catalog to commemorate the Festival that never happened! Your purchase will help offset the printing costs. Plus they are chock full of advertisers that could use your support right now!

Don’t forget that can you also use Eventbrite to make a donation to help offset the expenses that went into planning the Festival so far, as well as any fees we may incur because of the unanticipated cancellation.

2020 Catalog Cover Artist

Presenting our 2020 catalog cover, featuring an original woodcut done just for us by Bobby Rosenstock of JustAJar Design Press.

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Since we weren't able to have a Breed Display Barn this year, some of you might be interested in this webinar that the American Sheep Industry Association recently sponsored.

"In this webinar we explore the amazing diversity of heritage sheep breeds found in America and how many are making a remarkable comeback as interest grows in small scale shepherding and in natural fiber arts. We discuss the decades long effort to bring rare sheep back from the brink of extinction and current efforts to develop new markets for their products. Learn about the conservation work and then listen to experiences of several rare breed sheep farmers as they recount the journey they have undertaken with their amazing sheep breeds"
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1 month ago  ·  

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Attention please! We ended up with a small quantity of 2020 merchandise left over from our virtual festival order. This includes short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, sling bags, backpacks, posters, note cards and enamel pins. Sorry, no mugs, and not all sizes are available in the shirts and sweatshirts.

You can view these items at www.sheepman.com/product-category/maryland-sheep-wool-festival-online/, but because of the limited quantities you CANNOT ORDER THEM ONLINE. All items will be sold by telephone order ONLY on a first come, first served basis. Orders will be accepted by Sheepman Supply at 301-662-4197 Monday-Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. I repeat, orders will be accepted by TELEPHONE ONLY at 301-662-4197 Monday-Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

This may be your last chance to get 2020 Festival merchandise!
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3 months ago  ·  

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