(WALTHAM, MA) 2018 marks the 31st year for the Gore Place Sheepshearing Festival. Held in Waltham, MA, just 9 miles from Boston, this is one of the great New England festivals enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. Those attending will see demonstrations of sheep shearing and herding dogs and shop in one of the region’s biggest and best craft fairs. More than 100 craftspeople are expected to display their wares including a wide variety of hand dyed wool, knitted and woven clothing, jewelry, wooden toys, stained-glass, and, much more. All craft goods are made in this country by hand. There will be two tents devoted to fiber arts alone! The festival will be held Saturday, April 28 from 10am to 5pm (RAIN OR SHINE).
“The fact that our Sheepshearing Festival has been around for 3 decades shows how much interest there is in this great event” says Festival co-organizer Thom Roach. “For many, attending Sheepshearing is a long-held, multi-generational tradition.”
One of the mainstays of the festival is shearer Kevin Ford. Born in Newton, Kevin is one of our region’s last professional shearers still working exclusively with hand-shears as opposed to electric clippers. When Kevin finishes shearing and lays out the intact fleece like a blanket, he always gets a big round of applause. “Everyone loves to see someone with decades of experience do something exceptionally well,” says Roach. There are dozens of such artisans to see along with musicians, historic re-enactors, a puppeteer, and traditional dancers. It’s a full day of activities for all ages.
Sponsors at press time include: Waltham Tourism, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Watertown Savings Bank, RTN Federal Credit Union, Eastern Savings Bank, and PEAK Events. The festival also receives support from The Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Admission for the festival is $20 for adults with children age 12 and under and Gore Place members admitted free. There is an additional charge for wagon rides and mansion tours. Most other activities are free of charge. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. No pets or other animals are allowed. On site and satellite parking is free.
Gore Place is accredited by the American Association of Museums and receives funding from the Mass Cultural Council.