Aside from the brilliant transitioning leaves, The Trailing of the Sheep Festival is the highlight of Sun Valley’s fall season. Celebrating sheep and sheep herding traditions, Trailing of the Sheep offers a unique glimpse in to a part of Idaho’s past. Five days of dancing, music, wool classes, lamb dinners, sheep dog trials, and the famous Big Sheep Parade will tantalize the spectrum of senses.
The Wood River Valley has a long history of sheep ranching. The first sheep were brought to the valley in the 1860’s and have remained a vital part of Sun Valley’s character. In the early years of the 20th century, Ketchum was one of the largest sheep shipping centers in the world, second only to Sydney, Australia. The latter part of the 20th century saw a decline in the industry but sheep continue to be part of the Wood River Valley story. The Trailing of the Sheep began in 1996 as a celebration of these woolly creatures and the culture surrounding them all while encouraging a dialog between Sun Valley’s influx of residents and the area’s sheep ranchers. The Trailing of the Sheep highlights the annual migration of sheep through the valley and the diverse traditions of herding culture. Along with it includes the products of raising sheep, namely lamb and wool. On average, the festival draws in 26,000 visitors a year and has been touted as one of the best fall festivals in the world. There are many unique opportunities during Trailing of the Sheep. Below is a list of experiences not to be missed. To see a full schedule of events, visit the Trailing of the Sheep website.
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