Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
|Despite fears of hoof-and-mouth disease, the festival did go on as scheduled. Nervous shepherds were given the option of not attending and having their registration fees applied to the 2002 fair. Only a small percentage of shepherds stayed home.
Signs explaining show policy concerning Hoof and Mouth disease were clearly posted throughout the grounds. People who'd been abroad within five days preceeding the show were asked to register with festival staff.
Otherwise, it was business as usual. Admission was free, and the event drew an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 attendees over its two-day period.
|There was no shortage of sheep at the show, with approximately 800 filling several open barns like this one.|
Large crowds gathered by the auction tent to bid on new, used, and vintage equipment. A tender moment came during the auction of a special Lendrum wheel.
A card attached to it read, "This wheel survived a fire, but its owner did not. It's been completely overhauled and works beautifully, but every time I use it I can't help thinking about my dear friend and am overcome with sadness." The new owner took it carefully from the auctioneer's assistant and promised to give it a good home.
Speaking of finding good homes, watching your sheep be sold can be tough, especially for younger shepherds.
This boy took a quiet moment during the festival to cuddle with his soon-to-be-sold buddy, a ram named Big Boy.
Fiber and breeding stock weren't the only sheep-related products being offered at the show. Food vendors offered lamb in various incarnations.
The weak-of-heart could also find corn dogs, chicken pitas, French fries, and a regional specialty, fried funnel cakes topped with powdered sugar.