Fiber Festivals: Fun and Educational
What is a fiber festival you may ask. A fiber festival is a wholesome, fun event for the entire family that seeks to educate and entertain, while also highlighting the beauty of an industry in which few may be aware exists. The presentation of fiber-producing animals, such as sheep, and their products allows the public to develop their interest and skills in these areas.
There are many fiber festivals held every year throughout the United States. My favorites are the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival held at the Howard County Fairgrounds the first weekend in May (largest on east coast) and the Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival in Virginia which is held the first weekend in October. There is so much to see and do at these fiber festivals: Learning about many different breeds of sheep, interacting with the lambs, watching someone card and spin wool, observing the skill and discipline involved in the sheep dog trials, taking a class on knitting or felting, and appreciating the beauty of these animals as well as the many lovely products derived from their fiber to name a few!
Of course, sheep aren’t the only animals present; there are also alpacas, goats, and rabbits. And, there are the sheep dog trials, which are very exciting to watch: a shepherd and border collie work together to maneuver a small group of sheep into a corral, which is a lot more difficult than one may think.
Here’s the thing: If being outside in the fresh air, learning about new things, and developing a respect and appreciation for the animals that produce the clothing you may wear sounds like a fun way to spend a Saturday, then check-out a fiber festival near you this year. EWE will be glad of it!