New England Sheep and Wool Festivals

By Yankee Editors

May 16 2022

In “The Enthusiasts,” (season 6, episode 6) Richard is in Harrisville, New Hampshire, to see firsthand why border collies are known as the world’s smartest dogs. He meets master shepherd David Kennard of Wellscroft Farm, who has been training his 5-month-old border collie pup, Emma, for a big day. Along with two of his veteran border collies, Dave takes Emma for her first-time herding sheep down an open road; with just a series of commands, Dave and his dogs move about 60 sheep down the road to fresh pasture. Herding is a frequent feature of sheep and wool festivals. Here’s where you can catch one in New England.

New England Sheep & Wool Festivals

Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place
Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place | Best Sheep & Wool Festivals in New England
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Gore Place

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.
Best Sheep and Wool Festivals in New England
Sheep & Herding at Billings Farm and Museum | Best Sheep & Wool Festivals in New England
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey

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.

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.
Old Sturbridge Village
Wool Days at Old Sturbridge Village | Best Sheep and Wool Festivals in New England
Photo Credit : Aimee Seavey

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.