Sun Valley’s “Trailing of the Sheep Festival” might not offer the same heart pounding, adrenalin rush as Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls”, but this fun-filled, unique event was attended by over 19,000 fans last year and has been named one of the top 10 Fall Festivals in the World by MSN Travel.
Trailing of the Sheep will be held October 10-13th, 2013 throughout Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho to honor the nearly 150 year tradition of local sheepherders driving their sheep from mountain summer pastures to the milder lowlands for the winter.
The four-day festival is lamb-packed with activities including Wild West storytelling, hands-on fiber art classes, championship Sheepdog trials (where 50 of the country’s finest dogs will be showing off their moves in hopes of winning the grand prize), a folk-life fair featuring the Boise Bagpipers (one of the oldest pipe bands in the Northwest) Peruvian Musicians, Oinkari (which means fast feet) Basque Dancers and Polish Highlanders decked out in their colorful costumes. The highlight of the weekend is the Big Sheep Parade at noon on Sunday, October 13 where you’ll witness a major sheep traffic jam as 1,500 wild woolies are shepherded down Ketchum's Main Street.
Come hungry since the lamb love-in includes many succulent culinary events, such as lamb cooking classes put on by the Valley’s top chefs, a free “For the Love of Lamb” contest, where eight Ketchum restaurants will offer their most baaaad a** lamb dish for your tasting pleasure, after which you’ll cast your vote for the People’s Choice award. Throughout the weekend the Valley's finest restaurants will be serving gourmet American lamb specials such as Sawtooth Club’s luscious sounding, BBQ Idaho Lamb ribs with rosemary, garlic and honey-balsamic glaze served with a salad of mixed greens, Idaho bleu cheese, spiced pecans and tarragon vinaigrette.
For a memorable Saturday date night, don on your finest woolens for the Sheepherder’s Ball featuring the Hot Club of Cowtown, who opened for artists like Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
There are many hotels, B & B's and inns for you to choose from, scattered throughout the three areas, but I highly recommend the historic Sun Valley Lodge, a top choice ever since it opened in 1936. The Lodge is close to all the action and offers a variety of accommodation options, from private cottages all the way up to four bedroom condos, done up in French provincial cozy/chic, all surrounded by the impeccably landscaped grounds. The list of amenities not only includes all the basic luxe niceties, such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TV, refrigerator, in-room coffee maker, marble bathroom, etc. but also a glass enclosed outdoor pool, Sun Valley's famous outdoor ice rink, Gretchen's Restaurant, the elegant Lodge Dining Room, Beauty Salon, Spa and Exercise Room - and even a six lane bowling alley!
Please see below for more information, lodging specials or to purchase your tickets.
Organization: Trailing the Sheep Festival
Dates: 10/10/2013 - 10/13/2013 update info
Time: 1:00:00 PM - 1:00:00 PM
Event Cost: varies
Venue: Trailing of the Sheep in Hailey,ID
Contact: Trailing the Sheep Festival
Phone: (208) 720-0585
Email: Contact Trailing the Sheep Festival via email
* Photos courtesy of Trailing of the Sheep