Cummington to welcome Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair

The return of the Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair should be sheer pleasure for those attending the May 28-29 event at the Cummington Fairgrounds.

There will be fleece, woolcraft and photography in the Exhibit Hall plus sheep dog trials, weaving demonstrations, drop-in spinning and knitting, sheep shearing demonstrations, sheep show, contests, children’s activities, a potluck supper, an ice cream social and workshops.

The event will be returning after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are so excited! Doing this annually these people become more like family and the chance to get everyone together again and see new collaborations forming is so exciting,” said Heather B. Baylis, chairman of the fiber events.

There are several new vendors this year, a festival scavenger hunt for the children has been added, and there is a drop-in knitting area where the public can learn the basics of knitting.

“The great thing about this event is that there is something for everyone,” Baylis said.

Usually about 5,000 people attend the fair, which will take place rain or shine.

“Some come just for the fiber vendors. Families come for the different (activities); some come just to see the sheepdog trials. The reasons vary but most agree it is a great family venue,” she added.

According to Baylis, people are more interested in hobbies nowadays, and there are many new people interested in fiber. “Many really want to know more about the fiber they purchase down to the breed and history of that specific animal,” she said. “It’s a real opportunity for the smaller farmers and the youth showing their sheep really get to interact with the guests and tell their stories.”

The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair began in 1974 as a spin-off of a youth sheep judging contest. The main purpose was to have a statewide sheep show.

“I really enjoy the fact that even though I go back year after year, I still learn something new every time,” Baylis said. “I always come away inspired to do a new project or try a new type of fiber or fiber blend.”

Admission for the fair is free; parking is $10/day or $15/2 days. No pets.

Cummington Fairgrounds is at 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington.

For more information, go to masheepwool.org.

Event: Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair

When: Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29

Where: Cummington Fairgrounds, 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington

Admission: Free

For more info: Online at masheepwool.org

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