Late spring is the season when New England sheep get their hair cut, and celebrations have sprung up all across the region to make a festive occasion of the event. New England is home to many fine sheep and wool festivals. Most include food, crafts, games, competitions, and more — but all (naturally) promise to demonstrate how to properly shear our favorite wooly friends. Make a day of this fun spring tradition at one of our picks for the Best Sheep and Wool Festivals in New England.
BEST SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVALS IN NEW ENGLAND
Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place
Waltham, MA | April 23, 2022
Held rain or shine on the historic grounds at Gore Place, the festival features shearing demonstrations (both manual and electric), herding dogs, spinning and weaving demonstrations, food, live music, and a crafts fair with more than 75 vendors. goreplace.org/sheepshearing-festival
Shearing & Herding Weekend at Billings Farm and Museum
Woodstock, VT | April 23-24, 2022
At Billings Farm and Museum, enjoy a weekend devoted to Southdown sheep and their Border Collie friends. Watch the spring shearing of the farm’s ewes, spinning and carding demonstrations, and a chance to watch the talented Border Collies herding sheep in the farm fields. There’s also a children’s art show. billingsfarm.org
Sheep & Wool Festival
Deerfield, NH | May 14- 15, 2022
Alpacas, llamas, and sheep, oh my! And don’t forget the border collies. Held at the Deerfield Fairgrounds, you’ll be able to watch the action at the sheepdog trials and the best-in-show competition. Also enjoy exhibits and demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and shearing, and take in informative sessions on caring for the animals. nhswga.org/nh-sheep-wool-festival
Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village
Sturbridge, MA | May 28, 2022
It’s the kickoff weekend for another Old Sturbridge Village 1830s-style summer — and haircut time for the sheep. Watch farmers perform the sheep shearing while border collies show off their sheep herding skills. Historians will demonstrate how wool is processed, from shearing, scouring, and carding, to dyeing, spinning, and weaving. There’s also live music, farm animals, and the village’s daily demonstrations of musket firing, hearth cooking, printing, coopering, blacksmithing, shoe-making, and more. osv.org
Have you ever attended one of our picks for the best sheep and wool festivals in New England?
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.