A Sea of Sheep

The star of the weekend, ready for his close-up

The Folklife Fair, a big part of this weekend’s highly-anticipated Trailing of the Sheep Festival, proved a feast for the senses. Dozens of lamb dishes, cooked on site in a park in Hailey, tantalized. The smell of lamb burgers, lamb pockets, delicacies of every persuasion, wafted throughout the fairgrounds, subtly reminding visitors that it was lunchtime. And by all accounts, the food tasted just as good as it smelled.

Local lamb burgers tasted as good as they looked







Strains of bagpipes resonated across grassy fields throughout the day, drawing the crowds temporarily away from the food stands and craft tents to cheer on performers. Basque dance groups also proved to have a Pied-Piper effect on visitors, attracting a wide circle of onlookers.

Children and adults alike were invited to touch shorn wool that lay in huge matted bundles throughout the park. It was much, much softer than it appeared. Color exploded from every corner. From the perfect bluebird sky of the Idaho Indian Summer day, to yarn bundles in every hue, to the capes and bright skirts worn by the dancers, the Folklife Fair was a feast for the eyes as well.


Local lamb -- the draw for many fair-goers

Judging from the hundreds of out-of-town license plates lining every street for blocks and blocks around Roberta McKercher Park, people came from near and far to enjoy the Trailing of the Sheep. For every familiar face enjoying what might have been the nicest day of the year, there were three or four unfamiliar ones, all soaking up this glimpse into Idaho’s rich sheep-herding history, all coming together to remember to appreciate life’s simpler joys.

While the parade that wends down Ketchum’s Main Street may be the weekend’s signature event, the fair also deserves a few hours of your time. Before this year, while I always attended the parade – and I do love it; it is colorful, and musical and downright funny – I had never made it to the Fair. From now on, the opportunity to walk through the dozens of craft booths, admiring people’s skill and handiwork with textiles, stopping to let my children watch old-fashioned spindles at work, and yes, to enjoy the wonderful locally-sourced food prepared by local chefs, is permanently on my calendar.  If it’s on your calendar next year, too, be sure to check out the great room specials Sun Valley Resort offers for the Trailing of the Sheep weekend.


The boys imagining life in a sheep trailer -- albeit a really, really nice one

Unexpected traffic jam on the bike path after Sunday's big parade

Trailing of the Sheep Festival

16th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival

Friday, October 12 – Sunday, October 14

photo credit: Cydney Conger

Festival Honors Rich and Colorful History

and Culture of Sheepherding in

Idaho & The West

Unique three-day festival honoring the history, heritage and cultures of sheepherding in Idaho and the west.  Includes a full-day Sheep Folklife Fair, a Fiber Festival, dancers, musicians, folk and traditional art, storytelling and culinary events featuring chefs, restaurants and American Lamb.  The event also includes workshops on fiber, cooking with lamb, photography, history, culture and a variety of other events.   There is a two-day National Qualifying Sheepdog Trial in conjunction with the Festival.  There are exhibits, storytelling, hikes and the Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep strutting lively down Main Street, Ketchum, Idaho.

Named one of the top Fall Festivals in the World by MSN Travel.  One of the top 100 Festivals in North America by the ABA and recipient of the Governor’s Award on Cultural Tourism.

www.trailingofthesheep.org or call 208-726-0585

Trailing of the Sheep Festival Oct. 7-9

photo credit: Cydney Conger

15th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival October 7-9, 2011

Sun Valley Resort Trailing of the Sheep Festival Events:

Lamb Dinner Dine-Around:

Trail Creek Cabin – Reservations 622-2019

Lamb Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto in addition to its standard menu item; the Beef & Lam Meatloaf wrapped in bacon with a Tomato Chutney.


The Ram Restaurant – Reservations 622-2225

House made Lamb Sausage with Bucatini Pasta, Pecorino Cheese with Fresh Herbs & Garlic


For full weekend event schedule go to www.trailingofthesheep.org

14th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival October 8-10

photo credit: Cydney Conger

Sun Valley Resort and the entire Wood River Valley honors the over 160 year old history and heritage of sheep ranching in the region during the 14th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Friday-Sunday, October 8-10, 2010. Don’t miss the parade down Main Street in Ketchum beginning at noon on Sunday, October 10.
For full weekend event schedule go to: www.trailingofthesheep.org

Sun Valley Resort Trailing of the Sheep Festival events:
Lamb Dinner Dine-Around:
Trail Creek Cabin- Friday & Saturday, October 8 & 9 / 6pm / Reservations 622-2019
Grilled Lava Lake Lamb rack, pistachio crusted and drizzled with Idaho huckleberries. Served over a scallion potato pancake and accompanied with autumn squash puree. Special price: $24.95

The Ram Restaurant- Friday & Saturday, October 8 & 9 / 5pm / Reservations 622-2225
Lamb Loin with organic flageolet beans, melted leeks and lucques olive relish. Special price: $

Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports- Sun Valley Village
"Wooly Weekend" – Friday – Sunday, October 8, 9 & 10
Pete Lane’s will be highlighting their wool lines including Patagonia, Ibex, Smart Wool, with apparel line representative appearances, trunk shows and raffle prizes.

Final Days Sale at the Sun Valley Signatures Store & Sun Valley Gift Shop
Friday – Sunday, October 8, 9 & 10. Grand re-opening in November.

“Fall in Sun Valley is the best of all…” -Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway wrote about it for good reason: fall in Sun Valley is the best of all and this year is no exception.
Music with Marley and The Blind Boys of Alabama, the Sun Valley Harvest Festival, the gnarly Baldy Hill Climb and even a fun Bocce Ball Contest all kick-off the fall season in Sun Valley.

The Sun Valley Music Festival Saturday, September 25 will bring legends of Gospel to the Sun Valley Pavilion for the first time. The Blind Boys of Alabama interpret everything from traditional Gospel to contemporary spiritual material from legends like Curtis Mayfield, Eric Clapton and Prince. The Blind Boys will be joined by New York City’s Bill Sims Jr. and Lew Soloff, and local’s favorite The Paul Tillotson Love Trio. Tickets are $45 at the Sun Valley Recreation Center (208) 622-2135 or online at mySVfun.com

Harvest Food & Wine Festival

The Sun Valley Harvest Festival, September 24-26, is strategically planned for this time of year so chefs and participants can take full advantage of the local harvest. Sun Valley’s newest culinary event will offer fun-filled activities centered around sustainable regional food, wine and beer. It will focus on educating about foods available regionally and how to connect with local farmers, and also interesting ways to prepare these foods. For more information visit sunvalleyharvestfestival.com, or call 208-450-6430.

Friday, September 24 the Night Bocce World Championships and the Dick Barrymore Ski Movie Tribute will be held at River Run 6-10 pm.
Marley In The Mountains – Harvesting of the Vibes Reggae concert will feature Richie Spice of St. Andrew, Jamaica and is planned for Saturday, September 25 at 9pm at the Ketchum Town Plaza.

The Baldy Hill Climb starts at 8 am on Saturday, September 25 on the Warm Springs side of Baldy and will be sponsored by the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. A long-time local challenge, the Baldy Hill Climb is a great family event. (To sign up call 208-726-4129).

Also, the last day for gondola rides and lunch at Baldy’s Roundhouse will be Sunday, September 26. The Sun Valley Fall Golf Package will come to a close September 25, however, the Late Fall Golf Package begins the next day and will run through the end of the season.

And finally, after participating in all or many of these events, you might like to take a seat in Sun Valley’s Opera House to view "Ride The Divide – 2,700 miles, Canada to Mexico, Alone." The special film will be shown one night only Tuesday, September 28 at 7:30 pm and will be sponsored by Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports and the Elephant’s Perch. Tickets are $10 at the door or online at seats.sunvalley.com

Big October events include The Trailing of the Sheep, October 8-10, the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree October 13-17, The Sun Valley Harvest Film Festival October 22-23 and Crosstoberfest on October 30-31.
For additional information please visit www.sunvalley.com