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Woodstock Magazine

Animal Farm: Enjoy Vermont’s Sheep and Wool Festival in September

Sep 24, 2013 12:10AM ● Published by Erin Frisch

It’s time to get woolly! As the autumn chill sets in, thoughts turn to digging out our warmest hats, socks, mittens, and sweaters. And this month, you can discover where your wool comes from and how it is fashioned into wearable warmth! On September 28 and 29, the Tunbridge Fairgrounds will host the Annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the festival. With over 70 vendors on location, live demos, and—of course—live animals, you and your family will love learning how wool clothing is produced and will maybe even take home some items to prepare for another cold New England winter. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet local farmers and be a part of the wool trade.

The most engaging highlight of the Festival is without question the live animals. The fairgrounds will play host to your more-common species of fiber producers, like sheep and goats. However, you can’t miss the rarer breeds, like angora rabbits, llamas, alpacas, and black sheep. All of these exquisite animals will be on display in their pens in a large barn on the site.

Looking to improve your skills? The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival is not just for novices who want to learn about sheep. It also offers workshops and classes geared toward both sheep owners and fiber artists. Many classes are free, while others require a small entrance fee. These classes are taught by professionals who have years of experience working with animals or with their respective media. And if you really think you have what it takes, you can enter your knitwear into the annual Handspun Yarn Competition. This competition not only offers artists a chance to display their talents but also exposes visitors to many different styles and techniques of spinning wool.

Finally, my favorite part of the festival—the shopping! Indeed, you can find almost every variety of fleece known to man, from luxurious cashmere to thick boiled wool to fleecy alpaca yarn. Also available are items created with these beautiful yarns. Many items are on display, but just as many are available for purchase.

The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival will be held Saturday, September 28 from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday, September 29 from 10am to 4pm. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance. For more information and details, visit http://vtsheepandwoolfest.com. Rain or shine, come and enjoy nature’s bounty of woolly goodness. See you there!

What is your favorite part of the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival?

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