27th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival

Wed, Oct 4th - Sun, Oct 8th

through Sun, Oct 8th

October 2023

Various Locations

Trailing of the Sheep
(208) 720-0585

Sheep have been trailing through the Wood River Valley of Idaho for well over a century and are an integral part of Idaho’s heritage. The iconic Trailing of the Sheep Festival celebrates the sheep, herders, history, and food, of this unique cultural tradition, with the event recognized as one of the “Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World” by msn.com.

Each fall, the Trailing of the Sheep Festival honors the 150+ year annual tradition of moving sheep (‘trailing’) from high mountain summer pastures down through the Valley to traditional winter grazing and lambing areas in the south. This annual migration is living history and the focus of a unique and authentic Festival that celebrates the people, arts, cultures, and traditions of Idaho’s sheep ranching families, highlighting the principal contributors – the Basques, Scottish and Peruvians.

The five-day Festival includes nonstop activities in multiple venues – history, folk arts, a Sheep Folklife Fair, lamb culinary offerings, a Wool Festival with classes and workshops, music, dance, storytelling, championship Sheepdog Trials and, the always entertaining, Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep hoofing it down Main Street in Ketchum.

Save the Dates for next year’s Trailing of the Sheep Festival: October 4 – 8, 2023!

2022 Festival Highlights include:

  • Big Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep trailing down Main Street in Ketchum
  • Championship Sheepdog Trials featuring over 110 of the county’s most talented border collies and their handlers competing for top awards
  • Sheep Folklife Fair featuring the Basque, Scottish, and Peruvian dancers and musicians, sheep shearing demonstrations, over 80 sheep & wool product vendors, children’s activities and more
  • Sheep Tales Gathering will present Voices from the Land -Unique Stories of Women in Ranching, featuring women ranchers from three prominent Western sheep ranches in the west.
  • Culinary Events with For Love of Lamb tastings, Lamb Fest at the Folklife Fair, lamb cooking classes, and Farm to Table Lamb Dinners
  • Wool Fest featuring a dozen different classes and workshops
  • Hikes and Histories featuring Idaho’s sheep ranchers and renowned storytellers
  • Happy Trails Closing Party in the Ketchum Town Square with food and live music

For the detailed schedule, tickets, and lodging deals, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org.

About the Trailing of the Sheep Festival

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival has also garnered some well-deserved accolades over the years, including being recognized as one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World by msn.com travel, Top Ten US Fall Festivals by smartertravel.com, Top Animal Festivals in the World and Top Ten Fall Festivals by USA Today, Top 7 Fun Fall Festivals by AARP,  One of the Greatest Cultural Events in the West by Northwest Travel, and recipient of the Society of American Travel Writer’s Phoenix Award for best in cultural tourism, and the  Idaho Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage.

Media Contacts: 

Laura Musbach Drake, Director, Trailing of the Sheep Festival, 208.720.0585, [email protected]

Carol Waller, Festival PR, CW Communications, 208.720.3965, [email protected]

IMAGES TO DOWNLOAD FOR MEDIA USE HERE: https://trailingofthesheep.org/news-media/media/

Share this Event