WOODSTOCK, VERMONT… With the onset of warmer weather, it is time to take off the wool sweater and get a haircut – especially if you are a sheep! Gather the flock and come to the idyllic green pastures of Billings Farm & Museum for Sheep Shearing & Herding on April 23 & 24, 10AM – 5PM.
Renowned for its Jersey cows, did you know that Billings Farm once tended hundreds of sheep? Indeed, the verdant hills of today were once barren, stony, and dotted with the woolen flocks. This weekend of shear fun will provide a peek at the rich history and legacy of sheep in Vermont and provide fun for the whole family.
With Live Border Collie Herding Demonstrations at 11:30AM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM, guests can saddle up to the fence and marvel at the beauty of the roundup as the Border Collies bring the flock together. These amazingly talented herding dogs will astonish visitors with their clever tactics and boundless energy. Live Sheep Shearing Demonstrations at 10:30AM, 12:30PM, 2:30PM and 4:30PM will exhibit the shearers balance of physical strength and finesse and show off the skillful art of quick and effective shearing. Local sheep’s milk cheeses from Vermont Shepherd and Woodcock Farm will be available to sample.
Guests can pick up a Sheep & Wool Passport to follow the stages of transformation from sheep’s fleece to cozy woven cloth or knitted hats. Visitors can collect stamps from stations all around the farm and try their hand at several steps in the wool process through interactive demonstrations. In preparation for spinning, there will be an opportunity to help clean the fleeces at the Skirting Station and untangle and align fibers in the Carding Station. The final wool transformation can be observed in the colorful Dyeing Display.
Visitors can view the creative possibilities with demonstrations of felting, knitting, crocheting, drop spindle and wheel spinning and weaving on a loom. Children will have a chance to spin and take home their very own woolen bracelet. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase for a chance to win Woolen Treasures made by Billings Staff on display in the Activity Barn. The Museum Gift Shop will have natural yarn for sale made from the wool of Billings Farm sheep.
Families can enjoy finding the lambs hidden among the Farm Life Exhibits and follow the Story Walk featuring “Woolbur” by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper. Page by page, the story unfolds on signs along the pasture fence.
The Farmhouse Café, open 11AM -5PM, will have delicious Vermont-made ice cream, Billings Farm cheeses, plus snacks and drinks for purchase.
Sheep & Wool Week continues April 25 – 29, 10AM – 4PM. Guests can view displays on how wool is processed, hear children’s stories about sheep, and see the freshly shorn sheep in the pasture. There will be daily children’s sheep stories at 12PM, Sheep Programs at 1PM and 3PM and Cow Programs at 11AM and 2PM.