Experiential Learning this Weekend at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair this Memorial Day Weekend at the Cummington Fairgrounds

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair provides children with the opportunity to learn experientially about portions of agriculture, art, and the manufacturing of small-scale goods that are important both within our history here in western Massachusetts, and in our current modern culture as well.

There’s a lot more to sheep than fancy sweaters and toasty warm socks – and the upcoming Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair has got it all! From shearing to spinning, raising to eating, showing to herding, the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair will showcase all things sheep-related. A visit to the fair can bring lots of animal-induced excitement, spark creativity, satisfy curiosity, and inspire all kinds of learning.

Held over Memorial Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday, May 25th and 26th) at the Cummington Fairgrounds, the fair offers many different ways to learn about raising sheep, sheep-derived products, and the many different creative ways in which fleece is used today. Not only will there be lots of sheep on hand to observe (and pat, if you’re prepared to get lanolin on your fingers!), but there will also be sheep shown in many different categories by both adults and children. Families can also learn about the role of dogs in raising sheep, as sheep herding demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend. By watching farmers and their well-trained dogs move sheep around the field, families can learn about the hard work that goes into such a practice. Such styles of herding have been used by shepherds all around the world for hundreds of years, and it’s an important part of our global agricultural history.

In addition to the live animals on hand, families can also explore a wide variety of displays from farmers, artists, and craftsmen whose product relies on sheep-derived materials. Many of the fairgrounds’ barns will house tables filled with felted wool creations, hand-knitted pieces, beautiful yarns and fleeces, and tools and materials for knitting, felting, dying, spinning, weaving, and doing anything else you can think of with wool!  Read the rest of this entry »

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair this Weekend in the Hilltowns

MA Sheep & Woolcraft Fair 2012

Families can see sheep dog trials, meet sheep and other animal friends, and take part in workshops on everything from wool felting for kids to knitting fair isle patterns, dyeing wool with Kool-Aid to traditional Navajo uses for animal fibers.

Fibers galore!  The annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair takes place this weekend, May 26th & 27th, 2012 at the Cummington Fairgrounds!  This annual event features sheep, of course, as well as other fiber-producing animals, like rabbits and alpacas.  Each day of the event includes exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops for kids, and families can explore and learn about the many different aspects of sheep farming, fiber arts, etc.

Families can learn about local farming and the purpose of non-food producing farms and learn about the cultural significance (and usefulness!) of fiber arts, giving a glimpse into local farm culture!  For more information, visit the fair’s website and schedule at www.masheepwool.org.

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair This Weekend in the Hilltowns

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair
Memorial Day Weekend in the Hilltowns

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair on May 29th & 30th, 2010, at the Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA. One of the oldest of all the New England sheep fairs, the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair is a fun and affordable way to spend a day with family and friends discovering one of the oldest industries in the world.

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(Photos credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Shepherds, spinners, weavers, and other fiber artists come from all over the Northeast to demonstrate their skills and sell their handmade fiber products. But the sheep are the real stars of it all, and there will be hundreds of them attending, both meat and wool breeds. They will be joined by a host of other fiber animals, including angora rabbits and goats, llamas, and maybe even a yak or two!

Other festival highlights include sheep dog trials, spinning and weaving contests, a fleece sale, fiber workshops, a shearing service, live music, and workshops for kids (see below). Breakfast and lunch items will be available at the food booth, including the popular lamb bits. Admission is free, however you must pay for parking.

Activity Highlights for Families:

  • Sheep Dog Trials
  • Make Knitting Needles for Kids
  • Learn to Spin for Kids
  • Kool-Aid Dyeing for Kids
  • Needle Felting For Young People
  • Felting Treasure Bags for Kids
  • Tree Branch Loom Weaving for Kids
  • Felted Flowers and Animals for Kids
  • Click here for a full schedule

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