New York City’s only sheep shearing festival is back this weekend


New York City's only sheep shearing festival is back this weekend

One of New York's cutest annual traditions returns this weekend.

The Queens County Farm Museum’s 12th Annual Sheep Shearing Festival will take place on Saturday, May 13 from 11am to 4pm. And it’s unlike anything in the five boroughs! This spring celebration features live farm animals, farm tours, craft and fiber demonstrations, live bluegrass music, hayrides, local eats and craft brews—i.e. upstate vibes, all without leaving the city (and accessible by public transit).

At this year’s Sheep Shearing Festival, professional shearer Donald Kading will give the resident sheep their much-needed spring haircuts to prepare for the upcoming warmer weather. If you’ve never seen a sheep get trimmed (see: TikTok), you’ll want to add it to your bucket list.

Once the sheep are shorn, their fleece is sent to Battenkill Fibers, in the Hudson Valley, where it will be processed and then returned to Queens County Farm Museum’s Farm Store in the form of spun, naturally dyed yarn. The purchase of locally-sourced fibers supports sustainable fashion by investing in regional production systems. Attendees can also enjoy hands-on activities with local fiber artisans who specialize in dyeing, spinning, weaving and knitting with wool.

To take advantage of the fresh air, The Sheep Shearing Festival will also feature walking tours of the farm’s growing fields, 18th-century cooking demonstrations, a Spring plant sale, and a popular Adopt-a-Worm composting program. Back by popular demand, New Orleans-influenced Mama Juke will perform live throughout the afternoon. 

Tickets to the festival are $12-$15, and free for ages 2 and under. Additional programming at Queens Farm this year includes Milk & Honey Month in June, the 44th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Powwow in July, and the milestone 40th Annual Queens County Fair in September, plus public education Programs such as Art on the Farm, Cheesemaking 101, Root to Rise Farm Yoga, and Urban Beekeeping. 

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