Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sheep Parade in Ketchum

Trailing of Sheep Ketchum parade

This is humorous newspaper article on the sheep parade in Ketchum
Poor Congress. With public opinion at an all-time low, people were even blaming them for the 1,500 sheep that were late for their annual parade on Main Street in Ketchum Sunday.
“They must be federal sheep. They’re going to wait for back pay before they come through town,” quipped one man as he and hundreds of other people awaited the stars of the 17th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Parade.

On their way home from summer pastures in the mountain, the sheep seemed as confused as Congress, running around in circles before rancher John Faulkner and others finally got them to go straight.
“Although they were slow, they were well-behaved,” said the Rev. Ken Brannon, who stood in the middle of Main Street, his shepherd’s staff in hand blessing the sheep as they ran around him.
The temporary delay in the parade was the only hitch in a four-day festival, which enjoyed comfortable temperatures and fiery red and golden fall foliage despite a dusting of snow that topped Bald Mountain early Sunday morning.
Business owners had hoped the festival would bring people back to the valley after August’s Beaver Creek fire, which brought business in the valley to an abrupt halt.
And it did.
Long lines of people turned out for the Love of Lamb tastings on Friday night — Cristina Cook estimated Cristina’s Restaurant served more than 1,000 people that night.
Festival Director Mary Austin Crofts estimated the Sheep Folklife Fair on Saturday drew its largest crowd ever. And other events, including a sheep rancher’s talk featuring Castleford sheep rancher Michael Garroguerricaechevarria and Laird Noh and a dinner show-dance featuring the Hot Club of Cowtown, drew elbow-to-elbow crowds.
The crowds meant millions of dollars for the local economy,” estimated Crofts, who said past festivals have brought up to 5,000 out-of-towners and $3.5 million a year to the local economy.
“As you may know, Ketchum went through a rough spot due to the fire. We needed to do a lot to make up lost ground. We asked and you came. And we thank you from the bottom of our heart,” Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall told a packed auditorium of 200-plus people Friday night at a SheepTale Gatherings featuring best-selling author Mark Kurlansky.
The festival drew plenty of people from the Magic Valley, including Doyle Thomason of Twin Falls and five-year-old Aiden Visser and 3-year-old Caleb Visser who took in Sunday’s parade wearing cow outfits they had purchased the day before at the Sheep Folklife Fair in Hailey.
“We love the sheep,” said their mother, Ashley Visser.
The festival drew plenty of out-of-staters as well-many who had come the year before and come back with friends in tow.
“Since I eat lamb all the time, I especially love getting to try the different lamb dishes and seeing the different ways people prepare lamb,” said Neil McMahon, who raises 50 sheep near Oregon City, Ore.
Judy Mullens, of Lower Lake, Calif., saw a blurb about the festival in Sunset Magazine eight years ago and finally got around to attending last year. This year she and her husband brought another couple with them.
“It’s different, fun and it’s jam packed with things to do,” said Mullens, as she sipped wine during one of four cooking with lamb classes. “Both we and our friends are sponsoring dogs at the sheepdog trials so it’s always fun to go and watch them. And, of course, the tastings are pretty good, too.”

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