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Spring wool celebration - sheep shearing festival

Spring wool celebration - sheep shearing festival

By Blake Jackson

Celebrate spring and learn about wool production at the Queens County Farm Museum's Sheep Shearing Festival! This annual event, the only one of its kind in New York City, takes place on Saturday, May 11th, from 11 am to 4 pm.

The festival offers a fun-filled family experience that combines education with entertainment. Witness professional shearer Donald Kading give the sheep their spring haircuts. Learn about the importance of shearing for sheep health and the fascinating journey wool takes from sheep's back to your favorite yarn.

Beyond the sheep shearing demonstrations, there's a whole lot to explore at the festival:

  • Interactive Activities: Meet local fiber artisans and participate in hands-on activities like dyeing, spinning, weaving, and knitting.
  • Farm Tours: Embark on guided walks through the farm's flourishing fields and historic buildings, including the Adriance Farmhouse.
  • Live Entertainment: Enjoy lively music by Mojo and the Mayhem and the Folk Music Society of New York.
  • Local Food and Shopping: Savor delicious treats from local vendors and take home some unique souvenirs, including Queens Farm's own yarn and spring plants.
  • Educational Exhibits: Learn about sustainable practices like composting through the Con Edison Ecology booth and explore an antique tractor exhibit.

Sheep shearing is an essential part of sheep care. It keeps them cool in warm weather, prevents health issues like overheating and infections, and ensures their overall well-being. The festival sheds light on this age-old tradition, dating back over 10,000 years.

The Queens County Farm Museum partners with Battenkill Fibers in the Hudson Valley to process the shorn wool. This local collaboration promotes sustainable fashion by keeping production within the region. By purchasing local wool products, you're contributing to a more environmentally conscious system.

The Sheep Shearing Festival is a highlight of Queens Farm's year-round programming. Throughout 2024, the farm offers various events like Milk and Honey Month, the Thunderbird American Indian Powwow, and the Queens Agricultural Fair. They also organize educational programs on topics like cheesemaking and wild edibles.

Tickets for the Sheep Shearing Festival are priced between $12 and $15, with free entry for children under 3. More information and tickets can be found at

Photo Credit: istock-globalp

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