Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber
Greene County Fairgrounds, Waynesburg, PA
The Sheep & Fiber Festival has been held in Waynesburg, Pa., for the past seven consecutive years; the first took place in 2004 after two years of planning. The first five Sheep & Fiber Fests took place on the streets of downtown Waynesburg's historic business district. In 2009, the festival was moved to the Greene County Fairgrounds. The most recent festival was held the third weekend of May 2010. Past sponsors of the event include Dale Property Services Penn, PNC Bank, the American Lamb Board, local lamb producers and several local area businesses.
The festival committee strives to select activities and vendors in keeping with the Sheep & Fiber Festival theme: "Celebrating the heritage of lamb, wool and fibers in Greene County." One of the most popular activities is the "Sheep to Shawl" demonstration in which several teams are in a timed competition to create a finished piece of woolen apparel. Spectators see the process from the actual shearing of the sheep, cleaning and carding of the wool, then spinning and weaving into the finished shawl, all in one quick assembly-line operation. Several spinners and weavers guilds participate, and the finished shawls are offered at auction to festival attendees. Sheep-shearing demonstrations are scheduled at numerous times throughout the festival, and visitors will have a chance to watch live demonstrations of professional sheep-herding border collies. The festival also features a juried crafts show and sale featuring vendors from throughout the region, many demonstrating and selling fiber-related wares.
To promote American lamb as a main food source, the festival includes lamb sampling, lamb preparation handouts, a lamb meat raffle and lamb cooking demonstrations by noted chefs. During the 2010 festival, chefs participating in the demonstrations included Greg Alauzen of the Cioppino Seafood Restaurant and Chop House in Pittsburgh, Drew Hebson of the Sonoma Grill in Pittsburgh, Dan Wagner of the Culinary Arts Program at the Greene County Career & Technology Center and Miriam Rubin, freelance food columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Two new activities were introduced during the 2010 festival: the Breed Pavilion, which gave visitors the opportunity to touch, look and learn from a live display of several different breeds of sheep, alpacas and llamas; and the Fiber Arts Contest & Exhibit, which displayed over 30 categories of knitted and crocheted items including sweaters, shawls, hats and scarves all handmade by local and regional artisans.
Other activities at the Sheep & Fiber Fest include live musical entertainment, children's activities, a kids' pedal tractor pull and auction and a photography contest and exhibit. The 2010 photo contest and exhibit was located at the PA Welcome Center at the Kirby exit off I-79 north for several weeks prior to the festival, and was then on display at the fairgrounds during festival weekend.
Admission and parking for the festival is free. For more information on the Sheep & Fiber Fest, please visit www.sheepandfiber.com or call Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful at 724-627-8119. You may also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.