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Trailing of the Sheep festival celebrates the history of sheep migration

The festival began as a way to educate and continue on the legacy of the sheep and their families, as well as enjoy a fall weekend in the valley
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 9:08 PM MDT
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HAILEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The 25th Trailing of the Sheep Festival is underway right now in the Wood River Valley, celebrating the history of the beloved animal.

While the festival has only been going on for 25 years, sheep have been in this area for more than 150 years.

The entire weekend is a celebration of the migrating patterns that have been in the Wood River Valley long before people have, when sheep and their ranchers migrated from their summer mountain ranges down to their winter desert country.

The festival began as a way to educate and continue on the legacy of the sheep and their families, as well as enjoy a fall weekend in the valley.

“Our festival is not a reenactment, we have not trucked in any sheep,” said Laura Musbach Drake, the executive director. “And then the sheep that are in the parade on Sunday have been grazing in the mountains all summer. They come out of the mountains and instead of taking them off to the sheep drive way to this little bit of space, we put them on Main Street to celebrate them. This is Idaho living history and not a reenactment.”

The big sheep parade begins at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday on Main Street in Ketchum and will feature 1,500 sheep.

They want to remind everyone not to bring your dog for the safety of the sheep.

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