Trailing Festival Makes PlansIn 2014, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival began a three-year program “Celebrating Generations.” The goal is to listen, learn, share and save the memories of western sheep ranching families who live and work the land.
The festival began by honoring the visionaries; those first families who found a piece of western land that matched their dreams. They made it home, made it their life’s work, cared for it and fed the country from its bounty. This year, organizers will follow families into today’s hardworking second and third generations, the landowners of today who survive depressions, droughts, fires and the pressures of a rapidly developing west. What are their stories of triumphs and loss?
Last year was a great success and, once again, organizers hope to show the world that sheep ranching is alive, strong and still filled with a love of family and the land. Festival visitors and guests should be able to hear these stories. People need to see and feel the power of this important family tradition.
1. Bring your family and enjoy the festival.
2. Be a Lambassador. Wear a nametag that identifies you as a rancher and says, “Ask Me.”
3. Record your story with the Western Folklife Center.
4. Help trail the sheep in the Big Sheep Parade on Sunday.
5. Share your stories on the festival’s website and in local and regional publications.
One of the reasons that Trailing of the Sheep is so popular is that it is real. There is a yearning in people to believe this way of life is still possible, and the festival shows them that it is. Now in its 19th year, the festival has expanded greatly from its humble beginnings, yet the goals and objectives of the festival remain the same.
2015 Highlights include:
• Authentic Sheep Folklife Fair featuring Basque, Scottish, Polish and Peruvian dancers & music, sheepdog herding, sheep shearing and sheep camp cooking demonstrations, sheep wagons, storytelling sessions, exhibits, classes, and children’s activities.
• Culinary events, such as Cooking w/Idaho Lamb classes, For the Love of Lamb Foodie Fest, Lamb Feast & Lamb BBQ.
• A fiber festival with classes in knitting, spinning & felting.
• Sheep Tales Gathering, featuring Hank Vogler and others.
• Championship Sheepdog Trials.
• Sheepherders Ball.
• Trailing of the Sheep Parade – witness a “wall of wool” featuring more than 1,500 sheep trailing down Ketchum’s main street.
Check out the website, TrailingoftheSheep.org for the many events, performances and family fun planned for 2015.