The 27th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival starts Oct. 4th

The festival was born in 1996 to teach people about the history of sheep in the Wood River Valley region.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 7:10 PM MDT
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HAILEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival is happening this Wednesday, October 4th until Sunday, October 8th in Hailey, ID.

This year marks the 27th year that the event has been held to celebrate the history of sheep herding and ranching in Idaho and the West.

According to the festival director, Laura Drake, there will be over 30 events at the festival, including the big sheep parade on Sunday at noon where twelve hundred sheep will trail down Main Street in Ketchum. The event is free and accessible to everyone. There are some ticketed events that are a little more intimate, such as classes to learn more about the history and culture of ranchers and sheep herding.

“Our festival was born in 1996 to teach people about the history of sheep in this region,” says Director Drake. “Sheep used to out number people six to one, and we were the second largest region in the world behind Sydney, Austrailia for sheep herding production.”

Although the State of Idaho has far fewer sheep in the region, Director Drake says that there are still many remaining and the goal of the festival is to keep that part of their history alive.

The festival will also have a sheep dog trial where the dogs work to get the sheep through a timed course and into a pin. You can sign up to be a spectator of the event happening this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finals will be on Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.