« Back to Spotlights

Explore the NYS Sheep & Wool Family Festival in Rhinebeck

Date Published: September 13, 2023

It's back! The New York Sheep and Wool Festival returns to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. The Northeast's thriving sheep industry is showcased and celebrated each year in the family-friendly Sheep & Wool Festival on October 21 & 22, 2023.

Four sheep with farmer
Photo by @dutchesscosheepwool

You won't want to miss this exciting celebration of art and agriculture.

Visit with sheep, llamas, and alpacas, while browsing products made from their luscious fibers. Children will enjoy the petting zoo, the maple sugar shack, canine frisbee and other activities. Mom and dad can opt for the specialty food and wine tastings and cooking demonstrations.  And to top it off, there’s great fair food in the food court.  Find out why this event draws 30,000 visitors from across the country to the lovely village of Rhinebeck and the Dutchess County Fairgrounds! 

Two people wearing fleece sweaters Sheep and Wool
Photo by @jengeigley

Browse and shop from hundreds fiber artisans. Knitters will appreciate the multitude of yarns and dyes available, and fashionistas will swoon over the hand-crafted wool clothing, fleece coats, and angora scarves. There’s even jewelry and glassware with sheep motifs.  There’s a bag check area available to store your purchases so you might as well start your holiday shopping early! A can't-miss event of the weekend is the fashion show "Make it With Wool." Winners move onto the national competition, so the stakes are high!

Related: Win Prizes With the Farm Finder Pass

Hands on wool
Photo by @wingandaprayerfarm

Competitions and Shows are the heart of the festival which features hundreds of sheep, llamas and alpacas. Angora goats—which originate from the Middle East—compete in white and naturally colored categories. Fiber Arts contests take place throughout the day, including chop-stick knitting, spinning wheel (for the longest yarn), crochet and more. For an overview of the entire textile process, watch the fleece-to-shawl competition.

Bundles of wool
Photo by @briarrosefibers

Plus, don't miss the leaping llama competition Sunday only! Head for Building 34 to catch the 6 foot lamas challenge each other and defy gravity! Who will leap the highest? Who will take home the first place ribbon? Get there early for the Llama Parade!

Photo by @cloverbrookefarmhydeparkny

One of the Northeast’s truly unique events, NYS Sheep and Wool Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $15 per day at the gate. Tickets can be purchased also online in advance for $12 (+ a small convenience fee). To purchase yours, click here.

For info on the venue and directions visit Dutchess County Fairgrounds, which is located at 6550 Spring Brook Ave./Route 9 in Rhinebeck, 12572 or call 845-876-4000.

Related: Farm and Food Tours and Events

« Back to Spotlights