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0 DAYS TO THE EVENT
Jul 12, 2024, 12:00 PM
Hot Springs County Fairgrounds
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Free to attend

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2024 Schedule

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Friday, July 12, 2024

 

Sheep Trail Tours
A self-driving tour will be available in the Festival program for those interested in seeing local features and ranches throughout the weekend.

Sustainable Sheep Grazing Workshop
Please click here for information & registration for the Sustainable Sheep Grazing in the Intermountain West Workshop. Location: Fair Building, Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. 

 

train the Trainer- wool evaluation workshop, 1 pm

The Basics of Competitive Wool Evaluation: Train the Trainer

The Wool Evaluation Workshop is tailored for adult participants, specifically educators and volunteers wanting to start wool judging/evaluation programs, and/or serving as a judge at a wool show. The workshop emphasizes a blend of theory and hands-on practice to enhance participants' grasp of the key characteristics determining wool quality. Engaging activities, including grading wool, evaluating clean fleece yield, assessing staple length/strength, and employing comparative placing techniques, form a significant part of the program. Real-world examples from fleeces sourced nationwide will be utilized for practical learning. Participants starting a wool judging program will have the opportunity to acquire practice fleeces at no cost upon completion of the workshop.

Registration required at: https://forms.office.com/r/2AUyP9F2za

 

Art & woolcraft opening reception- opens 5:30 pm
Come see the beautiful curation of art and woolcrafts at the Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. The show has been professionally juried, but some of the prizes are up to you and your families: People's and Children's Choice Awards (to be given out at the Sheepherders Come Bye on Saturday evening). Visit a working sheep camp just outside, while taking in the aroma of fresh roasted lamb! Hors d'ouevres will be served (fresh roasted lamb, veggies, fruits, and cheeses; cash bar). These works of art will be available for silent auction on Saturday evening, during the Sheepherders Come Bye.

 

Historical Sheepherder panel- Begins at 6:30 pm
While walking through the beautiful works of art, enjoying fresh roasted lamb, listen to a multi-generational panel of Wyoming Sheepherders reminisce on the past, discuss the present, and gaze into the future of the sheep industry. Moderated by author, artist, & sheep rancher, Cat Urbigkit. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.

 

Saturday, July 13th, 2024
 

MSSA Stock Dog Trials- 9 am (all day)
The 2024 Wyoming Sheep & Wool Festival is happy to announce our official Mountain States Stock Dog Association sanctioned trial. For more information and registration please click here.

 

Vendor Fair- 9 am - 4 pm

Keep scrolling to check out the vendors that will be at the Festival in 2024. Click on the links to check out their websites and/or social media. To become a vendor or demonstrator, click here. Some of our vendors will be holding demonstration (spinning, rug hooking, etc.) while others will have educational displays or shops. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. See Vendor Info Below!

 

Fleece Felting workshop- pre-registration required, 9 am

Learn the basics of wet felting and create your own custom-felted piece from raw wool! Join us for a day-long workshop in wet felting with raw coarse-wool fleeces and learn how to create felted  works that preserve the natural "shearling" look of sheepskins, without the skin. In this workshop we will cover the basic concepts behind wet felting, techniques to get faster- more efficient felting, strategies for creating finer, looser felt with more drape vs denser, durable felt, with more stiffness and structure. You will have the choice to make one of several projects including a wool seat cover, a felted wool collar, a simple reversible wool vest, or a wool pet bed. This workshop will be very hands-on. We will be using raw fleece containing grease/lanolin (if you have a sensitivity to wool or lanolin we recommend that you do not participate), with small amounts of vegetable matter, and dirt; hot and cold water; soap; and lots of elbow-grease. This will be a very physical hands-on workshop which will require lots of standing, moving, and a little bit of arm-strength. We will most likely be outside for most of the day. Please wear adequate clothing for working outdoors in the Wyoming summer weather. You may also want to bring an apron if you do not want to get wet from working with the wet wool.You must pre-register for this workshop to allow ample preparation for the workshop. Please Register here: https://forms.office.com/r/Umvqkkckjm?origin=lprLink

The rug hookers

The Rug Hookers are back! Join the Rug Hooker ladies for amazing demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday morning. These ladies put on a great show and are a  great bunch to talk and learn from. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds

 

Art & Woolcraft exhibition- 9 am- 4 pm

Continue to gaze upon the beautiful curation of art and woolcrafts at the Hot Springs County Fairgrounds! The show has been professionally juried, but two of the prizes are up to you and your families: People's and Children's Choice Awards (to be given out at the Sheepherders Come Bye on Saturday evening). Scout out your purchases for the silent auction that will also take place at the Come Bye! Location: Fair Building, Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.
 

Lamb, It's What's  For dinner, 10 am & 2:30 pm
University of Wyoming meat scientist, Cody Gifford, will present various lamb cuts and preparation options. Participants will also enjoy some savory samples. This program is a must for those interested menus. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. 
Shearing Demonstration, 10:30 am & 3:00 pm
Isaiah Kerr, owner/operator of Kerr Shearing will join us this summer to demonstrate how to properly shear sheep. Isaiah shears thousands of sheep each year across the Intermountain West. Location: Pole Barn, Hot Springs County Fairground. Demos at: 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM
is NSIP realistic for your operation?, 10:45 am
Kristin Bieber, Skull Creek Targhees (Montana), joins us to discuss utilizing NSIP (National Sheep Improvement Program) in your sheep operation. She will talk about the ins and outs of NSIP and help you decide if it is realistic for your operation to utilize this technology. Location: Fair Building, Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. 
Branding Your Product/Operation- alma law, 11:15 AM        

Alma Law lives in Riverton, Wyoming. He is on the board of the Fremont Local Market, a Wyoming Food Freedom full-time, indoor farmers market. He has always been absorbed in food and cooking. He currently stocks his home-milled wheat sourdough loaves at the Riverton store and by special order to local food events. His most popular bread is his ancient grain Einkorn Sourdough made from berries purchased from Sarah Woods of Wyoming Heritage Grains. To improve his product and help local businesses, he took the Portland Community College- “Get Your Recipe to Market” course, and was encouraged to share their content with other growing food businesses. The presentation he has prepared for us contains many of their insights and resources filtered through his own passionate efforts and experience. Location: Cattle Barn, Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.

Children's activity station (all day)
Join us at the Sheep Wagons for coloring, shearing (children friendly version), and so much more! Location: Sheep Wagons at the Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.
 
Agritourism & value added marketing, 12:15 pm
Join Hailey Sorg, University of Wyoming Extension Educator for the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and value- added marketing. Discover innovative strategies to enhance agricultural business profitability through agritourism and learn how to attract and engage tourists through unique, value-added experiences.
 
Wool Learning Kiosk & Handspinning Fleece Auction

Wool is the miracle fiber, and Wyoming is the "wine country" of wool. Understanding wool quality requires understanding its various characteristics. Learn and test your knowledge with a variety of wool types. and bring your own wool samples for analysis! Better yet, take home some great fleeces for all your hand-spinning and fiber art needs at the silent auction. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. Those wishing to consign fleeces to the silent auction, please consign here.  

 

sheep-2-shawl demonstration (all day)

A complete Sheep-to-Shawl demonstration would include shearing a sheep, cleaning and washing the fleece, carding and spinning the wool fibers, and then weaving the yarn into a shawl. At the festival there will be demonstrations of carding, spinning and weaving, along with some samples of raw fleece and descriptions of how it is cleaned and washed. The loom will be warped ahead of time with hand-spun natural-colored wool yarn, and spinners will produce more yarn for the weaving of a shawl, which will be completed at the event. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.

 

Rock Creek Watering hole

Marie McClaren is a 5th generation sheep rancher in SW Wyoming. She shares her every day ranching experiences on her blog, A Sheepherder’s Story, and welcomes all to come experience the stories for themselves at Rock Creek Watering Hole. Book your future stay right here! It includes sleeping in an authentic sheep wagon at the ranch, eating lamb raised and cooked right  there, and riding along with Marie each day to learn about and get first-hand experience of the sheep ranching tasks. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.

 

wildlife systems management, 1:30 pm

Ever wondered how wildlife management decisions are made? How about draw amounts? Jaden Bales from the Wyoming Wildlife Federation will join us to discuss wildlife systems management in the state of Wyoming. Location: Cattle Barn, Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.

 

wwga business meeting, 2:30 pm

 

Sheepherders Come Bye Awards Dinner- 6- 8 pm

Join us for a night to remember! Your ticket includes a tasty lamb dinner and access to the cash bar. The Wyoming Wool Growers Association and Wyoming Wool Initiative will be handing out their annual awards as well as the awards for the Art and Woolcraft exhibition. Sponsored by the Wyoming Wool Initiative. This is a TICKETED event. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2024. Location: Hot Springs County fairgrounds.
 

Dance with live music from Kellen Smith- 8- 10 pm

Let loose and wear your dancing shoes! Following the Sheepherders Come Bye; no ticket required. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds.
 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

WWGA Board Meeting- 8:30 AM

Vendor Fair- 9 am - 4 pm

Keep scrolling to check out the vendors that will be at the Festival in 2023. Click on the links to check out their websites and/or social media. To become a vendor, click here. Some of our vendors will be holding demonstration (spinning, rug hooking, etc.) while others will have educational displays or shops. Location: Hot Springs County Fairgrounds. See Vendor Info Below!

WWGA Festival Committee Meeting- 10:00 AM  

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LINE UP
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ABOUT

Enjoy a celebration of sheep and wool in the heart of Wyoming

EXPERIENCE

Experience Thermopolis, Wyoming like only a sheepherder can! We will take you through real sheep ranches with the sheep and the herders themselves. Then come back to town and enjoy food, art, and education about the amazing and historical sheep industry in the great state of Wyoming.

LOCATION

Thermopolis, Wyoming

INFO

Vendor Line Up- 2024

Read below for more information about the WY Sheep & Wool Festival Vendor, their products, and programs:

Pretty Pelts: The Wyoming Wool Growers Association is the statewide organization for Wyoming sheep and wool producers and is the lead sponsor of the Wyoming Sheep & Wool Festival. Stop by the WWGA booth to pick up a membership application, ask questions, or purchase a beautiful sheep pelt, wool wax creams and lotions, and many other American sheep/wool products.

 

Get to Know Wool: The University of Wyoming Wool Initiative will host a hands-on wool assessment in its vendor space. Stop by and test your wool judging skills!

Support the Foundation: The Wyoming SHEEP Foundation was founded by Wyoming Wyoming Wool Growers Association as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to preserve and promote our state’s sheep industry heritage. The Wyoming Sheep & Wool Festival is a project that fits right into the mission of the of the SHEEP Foundation as revealed int the acronym “SHEEP” which stands for “Sheep Heritage, Education and Environment Projects.”

Wool in the Winds: Lynda German will bring her beautiful felted works of art for all to enjoy. Her needle felted wool paintings are something to behold!

Wild West Rug Hooking Demonstration: Join Sylvia and her group as they demonstrate how to hook wool rugs in this educational booth!

Lyn Foley Creates: Wool hangings, paintings, children’s books and more!

Mountain Meadow Wool Mill: The Mill will have their staff available to talk about the mill, showcase textiles they create, and more!

Farm Service Agency: Talk to the FSA staff about what they do for sheep and other AG producers in Wyoming.

Wyoming Women For the Land Initiative: The goal of American Farmland Trust's (AFT) Women For the Land initiative (WFL) is to intentionally engage women who own and manage farmland and ranchland to further the AFT mission to protect agricultural land, promote sound production practices, and keep producers on the land.  In partnership with Wyoming Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Y2 Consultants, AFT's Pacific Northwest region is exploring options to expand WFL programming into Wyoming. Come by the booth to learn more!

Sylvia's: Sylvia will also have a vendor booth with hand dyed wool fabric, yarn, fiber, and hand made soap.

 

Rock Creek Watering Hole: Come experience life as a sheepherder! Enjoy sleeping in an authentic sheep camp on a 5th generation working sheep ranch amidst the beautiful sagebrush covered mountains along a fish filled creek. We will supply you with all of your meals, including gourmet lamb suppers. You can either spend the day relaxing in the Rock Creek oasis, or ride along with sheep woman, Marie McClaren, to learn about and get firsthand experience of day to day tasks. The tasks include, but are not limited to, moving/supplying camps, shearing, lambing, docking, trailing, visiting with the Peruvian sheepherders and so much more!

 

Cottonwood Creek Wool: Wool pellets for your garden. 100% Wyoming wool, bio-degradable, renewable and increase nitrogen and oxygen in the soil.

Bureau of Land Management: The Worland BLM Office will be at the Festival to provide information on grazing permits, recreation, conservation, and so much more. They will also discuss how the local offices work alongside the agricultural industry to preserve the Wyoming rangelands.

Hot Springs County Trapper: Ever wanted to learn more about trapping predators, common practices, techniques or something else? Ask your questions and learn.

Hot Springs County Conservation District (NRCS): Learn about the watershed, projects in the county and what NRCS does locally.

 

USDA AG Statistics: The USDA works tirelessly to provide statistics on the ag industry from the local to national level. Learn how and why!

WY State Vet: Meet some of the staff, ask questions, and learn what all our state veterinarians do for our industry!

Chuck Wagon Cooking: Chuck wagon cooking demonstration with food samples.

 

Sheep Wagon Exhibit: We will have working sheep wagons from across Wyoming set-up for you to explore!

Hot Springs County Museum: The museum will have a historic sheep exhibit and willl remain open throughout the event.

Laramie Fiber Guild: A complete Sheep-to-Shawl demonstration would include shearing a sheep, cleaning and washing the fleece, carding and spinning the wool fibers, and then weaving the yarn into a shawl. At the festival there will be demonstrations of carding, spinning and weaving, along with some samples of raw fleece and descriptions of how it is cleaned and washed. The loom will be warped ahead of time with handspun natural-colored wool yarn, and spinners will produce more yarn for the weaving of a shawl, which will be completed at the event.

NCAT- Climate Beneficial Wool Project: Ask Danielle all the questions about this project for western fine wool producers and how it could benefit you.

Taste of the Wind: Learn the basics of wet felting and create your own custom-felted piece from raw wool at the Wyoming Sheep & Wool Festival this year! Join us for a day-long workshop in wet felting with raw coarse-wool fleeces and learn how to create felted works that preserve the natural "shearling" look of sheepskins, without the skin. Available products: felted pelts, tanned hides, clean ram skulls, and lamb snack sticks.

 

Siddoway Sheep Camp & Cooking Demos: Join the camp for some cooking education and stories!

 

FootHills Eclectic Design: Explore a variety of artistic creations ranging from fiber art to wood carvings and many things in-between while demoing fiber art techniques.

 

Guided Rock Farms: Fresh milled flours, lamb, yarns, Navajo Churro rugs, batting, and more!

WORTH Initiative: A booth from University of Wyoming's Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality program.

Beginner Shearers: Stop by the programmatic booth to learn how to join a shearing crew as a beginner shearer, receive more training, and more opportunities to hone your skills.

Spinning, Weaving and Other Demonstration: Join our vendors as they demonstrate how to spin fiber into yarn and then create beautiful textiles through weaving!

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our sponsors- click on icons for more info!

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Partial funding by Wyoming Humanities Council

Supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming cultural trust fund, a program of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources

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Want to Become A Sponsor? Click on the Sponsors Tab for more info

More Information

WY Sheep & Wool FESTIVAL 2024

Ever wanted to learn more about the history of sheep and wool in Wyoming while experiencing the culture and beauty of the state? Join us this summer for a celebration of all things sheep and Wyoming!

Visit the tabs throughout the website to view the Festival  Schedule, learn more information about sponsors, vendors, educational programs, and so much more!

 

Come visit us in Thermopolis, WY in 2024!

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