The Minnesota Shepherd’s Harvest Festival is at the heart of this renaissance. Held in May just as the fleeces are freshly shorn, this weekend event brings the annual wool harvest together with local artisans to spin forward traditional crafts now welcomed as eco-friendly ways of reconnecting buyers back to the source.
Families can enjoy a hands-on exploration of sheep breeds, try out classes in simple and extraordinary textile arts and shop the richly colored, useful goods crafted by these artists and farmers. Learn how to grow your own socks, spin your own sweater and turn the fleece of one sheep into self-made heirlooms for your whole family.
Beginning farmers can learn the basics of shepherding, select your own starter flock and find the mentors and community that can help you build your own hard-working farm lifestyle.
Self-proclaimed fiber fanatics can meet the shepherds who work all year to bring you the freshest, finest, locally grown wool. Build your skills in fleece preparation, hand-spinning, natural dyes, felting, weaving, rug-hooking and more. Enter your own handiwork in the handspun and felting competitions and soak up this annual gathering of tools, trade and tradition.
There’s fresh coffee, kettle corn, a wide variety of food and music and a spectacular array of vendors. It hosts the only fleece competition in the state as well as showcasing local authors, guilds and even a photo class and competition to help capture the magic.
The festival began in 1997 and is run entirely by volunteers. Llama Magic is held on the fairgrounds the same weekend as Shepherd's Harvest.
Admission and parking is free.
Friday, May 10th Classes only. Schedule TBD.
Saturday, May 11th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday May 12th 10:00 - 4:00
Shepherd's Harvest Festival
Washington County Fairgrounds
County Rd 15 and State Hwy 5
Lake Elmo, MN
Visit http://www.shepherdsharvestfestival.org for more info.
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