Arts & Culture, Fall

Fall Festivals You Have to See

From iconic music to herds of sheep running down Main Street, Sun Valley’s festivals are designed to delight your senses. We invite you to experience how we celebrate fall in the mountains. But be careful, you may just find it hard to leave.


Wagon Days

August 31 – September 3, 2017

Wagon Days is a celebration of Ketchum’s mining past, reaching back to the days before automobiles and railroads reached the valley. This festival is popular, with chairs lining the parade route days in advance. 

The Main Event: The Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade, which is the largest non-motorized parade in the northwestern United States. 

Don’t Miss: The “Big Hitch,” a twenty mule jerk line pulling six Lewis Ore Wagons down Main Street.

More Wagon Day Happenings: 

  • Watch the Eh-Capa Bareback Riders demonstrate their horse riding abilities without the use of saddle or bridle.
  • Eat an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast in Ketchum Town Square.
  • Enjoy plentiful kid’s activities.
  • Join the Art Gallery walk in Ketchum.
  • Catch a free preformance by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real after the parade.
  • Catch racers finishing Rebecca’s Private Idaho, an impressive 100 mile gravel griding bike race!

Sawtooth Brewery’s Oktoberfest

September 14-15, 2018

Sawtooth Brewery’s Oktoberfest brings a German beer garden to Ketchum’s Town Square. Come for the drinks, stay for the food trucks and lawn games.

The Main Event: Sawtooth Brewery will be serving six German lagers, as well as wine and root beer, at this all-weekend festival.

Don’t Miss: The lawn games! Corn hole, beer pong, and a German game called hammerschlagen which involves nails, hammers, and a stump of wood. 

Ready for More? If you want to double down on fall festivals, head to Hailey for the Wood River Valley Harvestfest on Saturday, September 16. Sample local cuisine by enjoying “small plates” at twenty restaurants and coffee shops.

Trailing of the Sheep

October 10-14, 2018

Ranked as “One of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World” by MSN, Trailing of the Sheep is an experience you won’t forget. Bask in traditional sheepherding culture through food, craft, music and dance. 

The Main Event: The Sheep Parade. An entire herd of sheep, wild from a summer in Idaho’s mountains, run down Main Street in Ketchum to the cheers of thousands of spectators. 

Don’t Miss: The Folklife Fair in Hailey, where wool crafts, food, sheep shearing, and traditional song and dance abound.

More Trailing of the Sheep Happenings: 

  • Watch the Championship Sheep Dog Trials, with top ranked border collies competing from across the West Coast.
  • Eat your way through the Love of Lamb culinary tour in Ketchum.
  • Take a class in cooking or wool crafts.
  • Watch the film screening of the documentary “The Shepardess of the Glaciers,” following the life of a shepardess in the Himalayas.
  • Dance the night away at the Sheepherders Ball with hometown favorites Micky & the Motorcars.


Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival

October 17–21, 2018

The Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival is a five day celebration of iconic American music styles such as jazz, blues, Zydeco, cabaret, big band and swing. Over 200 musicians perform throughout the valley.

Don’t Miss: The free professional dance lessons. Instructors teach over 20 hours of lessons during the festival for beginner and intermediate dancers. Enter one of the four dance competitions to show off your new skills.

More Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival Happenings: 

  • Catch special sets from bands such as the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Kings of Swing.
  • Relax at the Afterglow Dinner, an elegant night of jazz followed by a raucous big band dance.

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