Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Little History—And Lots Of Sheep

The 17th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival attracted thousands of onlookers and participants. The Sheep Folklife Fair held at Roberta McKercher Park in Hailey on Saturday was packed with both exhibitor booths and spectators. Throngs of people lined Main Street in Ketchum on Sunday for the Trailing of the Sheep Parade. “I believe there were record crowds at all events,” said Mary Austin Crofts, executive director of the festival. Clockwise from top, the Boise Highlanders from Idaho’s capital city is the oldest pipe-and-drum group in the Northwest. The group has played at the parade every year. The sheep are the main highlight of the parade, all 1,500 of them. The flock of ewes belongs to rancher John Faulkner of Gooding, Idaho. The Polish Highlanders live today in Chicago, Ill., but preserve their heritage of sheep-herding traced back to the sixth century in the Tatra Mountains of Poland. There were more than 30 in the group this year, which is the 10th year they have participated in the event. Quigley Canyon near Hailey was once again the site of the National Sheepdog Trials, showcasing 50 of the best sheepdogs in the nation vying for national championship qualifying points. In the parade, 9-year-old Hailey resident Malia Foley introduced the crowd to a sheep wagon pulled by farmer Laura Sluder’s Blue Sage Team.
Express photos by Willy Cook

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