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Courtesy photo.




41st annual New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival

When: Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, May 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Deerfield Fairgrounds, 34 Stage Road, Deerfield
Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older, free for kids 12 and under
Visit: nhswga.com




Sheep trick
NH Sheep and Wool Festival returns

05/11/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 Meet some sheep and learn all about the Granite State’s fiber industry at the 41st annual New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.

This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Deerfield Fairgrounds. A variety of demonstrations, information booths and workshops are planned for both days. The event is hosted by the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers Association.
“The association was established … to educate the public about raising sheep,” said Theresa Walker, a volunteer for the festival’s planning committee, “and the festival started sort of both as an educational outreach program and a celebration of sheep in general.”
The festival has grown into a popular weekend event for families, even those who don’t own a farm or sheep of their own, according to Walker.
“The shepherds that were coming together [to put on the festival] started realizing there was a public interest in backyard farming,” she said. “We’ve always got families coming out and activities for kids to make all kinds of things.”
Saturday’s festivities kick off with the annual sheep youth show at 9:30 a.m., when young shepherds will present their sheep.
“It’s sort of going to be like an introduction for the local 4-H club to show their sheep on a larger scale,” Walker said.
Nearly 100 vendors will be setting up shop on the fairgrounds, some selling yarn and fiber products and others hosting shearing or knitting demonstrations. Food vendors will also be there selling roasted lamb, lobster rolls, pizza, sausages and more.
Almost every exhibitor is from the New England area, with a majority from New Hampshire, like Purgatory Falls Alpaca Farm of Lyndeborough, The Yarn and Fiber Company of Derry, Smiling Sheep Farm of Milton and several others. Great Bay Woolworks, Walker’s company that produces yarn from Liberty Hill Farm in Durham, will also be at the festival both days.
“There are a lot of seasoned shepherds here who will be sharing their knowledge of sheep shearing and showing off what they love to do,” Walker said. “Many of them sell fiber products that come from their own animals.”
Other staples of the festival will include several workshops to be offered both days, in areas like spindling, beginner’s crocheting and more. The cost to participate in most of the workshops ranges from $45 to $50 and includes admission to the festival.
There will be a used equipment sale under a tent at the festival, featuring fiber panels and other basic barn equipment. A 10-percent commission from items sold at the sale will be paid to the festival’s planning committee.
New to this year’s festival will be a screening of the 2016 documentary film Yarn: The Movie, on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. inside the Concessions 2 building on the fairgrounds. Tickets to attend the screening are $5 for adults and $2 for kids 12 and under. 





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