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Fall in Sun Valley is beautiful: Brilliant transitioning leaves, colorful villages, green grasses, blue sky. But what actually the best thing about Sun Valley’s fall season is The Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

Trailing of the Sheep Festival
Trailing of the Sheep Festival

Five days of music, dancing, sheepdog trials, and many other activities would make your fall experience more special. So let’s check it out now!

1. What To Know About The Trailing Of The Sheep Festival?

Time And Location

Celebrating sheep and sheep herding traditions, the Trailing of the Sheep usually takes place in the first week of October in Sun Valley. This year, the fest will be held on October 6-10 and signifies the 25th celebration.

Time And Location
Trailing of the Sheep Festival celebrates sheep and sheep herding traditions

History Of The Festival

Sheep ranching has been a long tradition of the Wood River Valley. In the 1860s, the first sheep were brought to the valley and has become the character of Sun Valley. In the 20th century, sheep shipping centers were developed and continued to be a part of Sun Valley history.

History Of Trailing Of The Sheep Festival
The fest is a long tradition of the Wood River Valley

In 1996, The Trailing of the Sheep Festival began as a celebration of sheep and the culture surrounding them as well as encouraging the relationship between residents and the area’s sheep ranchers.

Until now, the event has become the highlight of the Valley, attracting more than 25,000 visitors a year. It’s also named one the best festivals in the world.

2. 4 Interesting Things To Do At The Trailing Of The Sheep Fest

For The Love Of Lamb Dine Around

The festival unofficially kicks off with the For Love of Lamb Dine-Around to satisfy the craving of guests. There is a collection of restaurants in the area, which offer the best dishes of lamb cuisine. Come to Ketchum and indulge in this free event and don’t be late.

Come to For Love of Lamb Dine-Around to satisfy your craving
Come to For Love of Lamb Dine-Around to satisfy your craving

Big Sheep Parade

The most special event at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival is the Big Sheep Parade happening on Sunday. The parade begins with the presence of a band of 1,500 sheep, dance and music from sheepherding cultures and the namesake of the festival running down Main Street.

The Big Sheep Parade with the presence of a band of 1,500 sheep
The Big Sheep Parade with the presence of a band of 1,500 sheep

Don’t worry and let the herders and ranchers do their jobs. There are also several guard dogs, traditionally Akbash or Pyrenees breeds, running with the band to keep the sheep going on their route. 

Sheepdog Trials

One of the highlight National Point Qualifying events is The Sheepdog Trials, which bring to the fest talented trainers and dogs from across the region.

In the trials, there is a small band of sheep herded by border collies and their handlers. Handlers ask their dogs to perform a series of trials to show their skills, from herding the sheep around the field, through gates and into a paddock. The dogs receive commands by their handler’s voice or whistle.

The Sheepdog Trials are one of the highlights
The Sheepdog Trials are one of the highlights

The cost for the trials is $5 per person and free tickets for children under 12. To travel to the trails, there is a free shuttle on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, picking you up at the Community Campus of Trailing of the Sheep Festival. The return ride runs from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Folklife Fair

The Folklife Fair is an energetic celebration of culture and art located at McKercher Park in Hailey. Come to the fair, be sure to spend your time browsing the vendors selling sheep-related gifts, wool art and eating a lamb lunch.

The fair is definitely an energetic celebration of culture and art located at McKercher Park
The fair is definitely an energetic celebration of culture and art located at McKercher Park

The shearing station may amaze you with some new sights to see, while the main ground features performances of dancers and musicians representing sheepherding cultures, including Peruvian, Basque, Scottish and Polish.

3. What To Wear To The Trailing Of The Sheep Festival?

The best thing about fall is that you can wear anything you like in your wardrobe, from cozy knits, sweaters, jeans to T-shirts and tees without feeling uncomfortable. It’s because the weather in fall is usually nice, a little bit cooler in the early morning and evening.

When it comes to the Trailing of the Sheep Festival outfits, layering is the most difficult thing. So if you do not have a good taste in fashion, these simple and quick ensembles may be the savers.

Cute Fall Outfits

The first one is the combination of a sweater vest with jeans or a floaty maxi dress. This go-to fall layer is just perfect for an outdoor day. You can style it a little bit with some accessories like a necklace or a pair of pearl earrings.

the combination of a sweater vest with jeans is perfect for an outdoor day
the combination of a sweater vest with jeans is perfect for an outdoor day

Wear A Dress With Booties

This is a good outfit for a cool day, including summer clothes and fall pieces yet not looking weather-confused at all. Give fall a cute touch with a pair of leather boots, and hug the cool air with a bright dress. You can bring an extra jacket to keep yourself warm in case the weather turns chilly after sunset.

a bright dress with a pair of leather boots is a good outfit for a cool day
a bright dress with a pair of leather boots is a good outfit for a cool day

Blazer As Outerwear

Blazer is an item that works well with any of your transitional weather pieces, from skirts, dresses to jeans. Just find one with light color and pair it with a simple and basic T-shirt and you’re good to go.

Blazer is an item that works well with any of your transitional weather pieces
Blazer is an item that works well with any of your transitional weather pieces

There are a bunch of interesting things you could do at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. So don’t hesitate. Plan your visit now to have a wonderful and memorable fall experience in Sun Valley.

You may also like: 5 Important Things You Should Know About The Bedford Fall Foliage Festival

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