The 12th Annual Festival, October 10-12, 2008, celebrated "Songs and Stories of Sheepherding" and highlighted the unique contributions made by the western sheepherders who worked and settled in the Wood River Valley of Idaho.
Friday, started with afternoon workshops that featured cooking lamb with gourmet chefs. Friday night, we joined Hal Cannon, Rosalie Sorrels, Roy Kady, Sharon O'Toole, and Mick Lucey for Remembering When, an evening of music, poetry and storytelling.
Saturday, the Folklife Fair, featured regional artisans working with wool - shearing, carding, spinning and weaving, and herding sheep demonstrations. Saturday night's concert, "Our Story Continues," featured Hal Cannon, Brenn Hill, Francisco Colqui and Linda & Carolyn Dufurrena.
Sunday afternoon, the Trailing of the Sheep Parade moved hundreds of sheep down Main Street. This "Trailing" follows a nearly 100 year-old tradition and will be led by one of four local sheep ranching families, as well as historic sheep wagons, Oinkari Basque Dancers, Polish Highlanders, Peruvian Dancers and Musicians, and the Boise Highlanders bagpipers and drummers.2008 Performers, Exhibits and other Highlights
The Boise Highlanders - Bagpipers, Drummers, and Dancers
Pipers and drummers wear the Davidson tartan, while the dancers wear tartans of their choice.
Peruvian Dancers and Musicians (formerly Latino X)
These Peruvian musicians have been playing together for several years performing Andean music and the contemporary dance music of Peru.
Oinkari Basque Dancers
The nationally acclaimed Oinkari Basque Dancers were started by a group of Boise Basque Americans after a trip to the Spanish Basque country in 1960.
Peruvian Traditions bring the music and dance of the Andes to the Wood River Valley. They specialize in music of the pan flute, acoustic guitar, Peruvian drums, charango (small guitar), and chachas.
Polish Highlanders of North America
The Polish Highlanders of North America present the folk music and dance of their families, shepherds from the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland.
Irish Dance Idaho
Irish Dance Idaho remains one of the finest Irish Dance groups in the state of Idaho, performing graceful, powerful soft shoe and precise, percussive hard shoe dancing.
St. Charles Catholic Church's famous Basque Lamb Dinner
Visitors were treated to the St. Charles Catholic Church's famous Basque Lamb Dinner. This feast has been a Valley-wide tradition since 1949 and continues to attract lamb aficionados from far and wide.
Lamb Tastings and Talk
Five top chefs prepared and discussed recipes for selected lamb dishes from lamb ribs, shanks, legs, and ground meat to Dutch oven stews.
Sorrels thinks of herself as a storyteller who uses music to advance the story. She has been singing professionally since 1960. Her 17 albums and countless performances represent a vast repertoire of original material. For more on Rosalie, please visit www.rosaliesorrels.com.
At 16, the Utah born singer/songwriter performed at the famed National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. Herecorded his first album when he was barely 20 and soon became a popular performeron the Western music circuit. His debut album, RANGEFIRE, earned Brenn the RisingStar Award from the Academy of Western Artists (AWA). For more on Brenn, please visit www.brennhill.com.
Hal Cannon is the founding Director of the Western Folklife Center and its famous child, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He has published a dozen books including recordings on the folk arts of the West and has received multiple awards. For more on Hal, please visit www.halcannon.com.
If there is a "man for all seasons" among contemporary Diné (Navajo), Roy Kady might be that man. Kady is a well-established sheep herder and a weaver residing in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona. To learn more about Roy, Navajo-Churro sheep, and Diné weaving, please visit www.dinewoven.com.
Mick Lucey, an Irishman with a thick brogue, came out to Oregon to go sheepherding in January of 1949 at the age of 24. The only possession that he brought with him to America was a button accordion, and he is a talented traditional Irish musician.
Sharon Salisbury O'Toole is a rancher, writer, and poet from the Little Snake River Valley, near Savery, Wyoming. She and her family raise cattle, sheep, dogs, horses, and children on their six-generation ranching operation. Sharon writes and performs cowboy poetry and entertains audiences with tales of ranch life and ranch cooks.
Linda and Carolyn Dufurrena
Working as a rancher led Carolyn Dufurrena to write the compelling essays and texts that accompany the powerful photography of her mother-in-law, Linda Dufurrena, in the acclaimed Fifty Miles from Home: Riding the Long Circle on a Nevada Family Ranch, published by University of Nevada Press (2002), which earned her the Silver Pen Award, given by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Francisco Colqui - sheepherder, storyteller
Chris Kastner, Chef and owner of CK's Real Food Restaurant - Cooking with Lamb
Chris Kastner is well known for providing some of the finest food in the Sun Valley area. His superb cooking has pulled "celebrities, foodies, and mostly regular folks" into his popular Hailey restaurant over the years. Friday's Trailing of the Sheep Lamb Cooking Class is always a popular feature of the weekend and encourages home chefs and families to appreciate the freshness, versatility, and secrets of delectable American lamb.
John Bieter - Discussion on Idaho Basques
He is the author of An Enduring Legacy: A History of the Basque in Idaho. He will discuss the fascinating history and ancient culture of the Basque people and their lives in Idaho.
Tamara Kubacki - Knit a Stitch - Spin a Yarn, folklorist
Tamara Kubacki has been the Programs Coordinator for the Western Folklife Center since 2007, with her main duties focused on the winter National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Meg Glaser - Western Folklife Center, folklorist
Meg Glaser is the Artistic Director for the Western Folklife Center. She is an ethno-musicologist and has served as a director of Folklife Center programs since 1990, conducting and overseeing research and fieldwork, producing exhibits, performance tours, and other events.
Christina Barr - Western Folklife Center, folklorist
Christina Barr has been the Program Outreach Coordinator for the Western Folklife Center since 2003. She conducts fieldwork and research, and produces exhibitions and programs in Elko and around the West.
Tamara Kubacki - Western Folklife Center, folklorist
John Balderson - Sheep shearer
John has been shearing sheep professionally for close to 50 years, traveling from one sheep operation to another around the region. As in recent years, John is joined by Ed Wilde of Carey, who has owned and operated his own shearing operation most of his life, moving seasonally throughout the region to expertly shear the animals at many of Idaho's sheep ranches.
Tish Lewis - Herding with Border Collies
Tish Lewis was born and raised in Great Britain and early in life developed an interest in sheep and dogs. She was especially drawn to herding dogs, like Border Collies from the rugged highlands of Scotland, without whom, she explains, sheep production would be impossible. Tish has competed at many sheepdog trials and gives herding demonstrations around the region. This year we also welcome Tish's associate handler, Rebekka Harkins, as Tish shares her skills and knowledge with a new generation.
Norman Close - Dog Trials Judge
Norman Close was raised on a mixed farm in Lancashire, England, and has been working with livestock all his life. His full time business, Handhill's Border Collies, has produced some of the top dogs in Canada and the U.S. His many accomplishments include winning the 2005 Canadian and Western Canadian Championships and placing 5th in the U.S. Nationals.
Ivan Swaner - Local historian and storyteller
He shares his stories throughout the weekend.
John Peavy - Local rancher and storyteller
John is a third generation sheep rancher, owner of Flat Top Sheep Company, former state senator, and co-founder of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. He will provide history and ranching insights on the Sheep Shuttle trip to Neal Canyon and during the Sheepherder Carvings Walk.
THE SHEEP - Salmon Falls Sheep
Salmon Falls Sheep owners Mike and Mark Henslee and their families will bring a band of sheep down Main Street, Ketchum, this year for the Trailing of the Sheep Parade in honor of the history of the Wood River Valley. Salmon Falls Sheep ranch is headquartered in Hagerman, Idaho, but the Henslee brothers move their three bands of sheep through summer range in the Stanley Basin, including private family land at Smiley Creek. They are now trailing south as a part of the annual return migration through the Wood River Valley to winter desert pastures outside of Hagerman. The sheep of Salmon Falls Sheep will be accompanied by owners Mike and Mark, their families, and foreman Ray Mavencamp along with other sheep ranching friends.
Cooking With Lamb
CK's Real Food Restaurant. Prominent local restaurateurs Chris and Rebecca Kastner of CK's Real Food Restaurant will demonstrate how to make innovative lamb dishes that epitomize regional northwest cuisine.
The Basque Community in Idaho, Discussion
Hailey Public Library, Main Street, Hailey 3pm.
John Bieter, author of An Enduring Legacy: A History of the Basque in Idaho, will lead a discussion of the Basque community in Idaho. Bieter is also the Director of the Center for Basque Studies at Boise State University. Open to the public. No charge.
Knit a Stitch, Spin a Yarn
Sun Valley/Ketchum Ski & Heritage Museum, 180 E. 1st St., Ketchum 1-4pm.
Drop in with your knitting, spinning, crocheting, embroidery, or quilting and join Tamara Kubacki of the Western Folklife Center in the knitting circle. When knitters and other fiber artists get together, the stories start flying! The Western Folklife Center will record stories about the role wool plays in your art, handiwork, and life. No charge.
Friday Night Concert
at nexStage Theatre, 120 S. Main Street, Ketchum, 7:00pm, Doors open at 6:00pm.
Sheep Tales Gathering: Songs and Stories of Sheep Herding "Remembering when..."
Trailing of the Sheep Dog Trials: New for 2008!
Quigley Canyon Field, Access off Fox Acres Rd., Hailey (Behind Wood River High School), 7am to Dusk Saturday and Sunday.
Organized by the International Dog Handlers and Stock Dog Association, this two-day trial is sanctioned by the U.S. Border Collie Handlers Association and will offer $3,000 in prize money as well as USBCHA points towards qualifying for the 2009 National Finals. The trial will feature over 50 of the West Coast’s most talented handlers and border collies. Look for teams traveling from Utah, Idaho, Montana, California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
Workshop: Gathering Your Stories, Preserving a Legacy: Oral History Workshop with Hal Cannon
Renowned western folklorist Hal Cannon will lead a workshop on how to preserve aspects of a legacy - from how to conduct good interviews to how to document stories and other folk materials. Hal will be joined by two staff members from the Western Folklife Center, Meg Glaser and Christina Barr.
Lamb Tastings at Folklife Fair Four top chefs will prepare and discuss recipes for selected lamb dishes from lamb ribs, legs, and ground meat to Dutch oven stews. At their side, members of the four ranch families who provided the lamb for tasting will tell stories of their respective sheep operations from which this local food comes, its headquarters, grazing landscapes, marketing practices, and stories from the generations of ranch families that make up its history.
Saturday Night Concert Saturday night's concert is called"Our Story Continues."
Trailing of the Sheep Dog Trials: New for 2008
Quigley Canyon Field, Access off Fox Acres Rd., Hailey (Behind Wood River High School), 7am to Dusk Saturday and Sunday.
The Trailing of the Sheep Dog Trial continues throughout the day on Sunday. Nominal entrance fee of $2 per person; children under 5 free. See Saturday listing above for complete description.
History of Sheepherding in the Wood River Valley
Lane Mercantile (Starbucks), Main Street and Sun Valley Road, Ketchum 10am - noon.
Local historian Ivan Swaner will be on hand to tell stories of the Wood River Valley and the Lane Merc, a gathering place for sheepmen over the years. No charge.
Trailing of the Sheep Parade
Main Street, Ketchum, Noon.
Trailing the Year: The Human Landscape of Sheep Ranching in the American WestImmediately following parade. Exhibit curators will discuss the enhanced exhibition at a coffee reception.
Forest Service Park, Washington and 1st Streets, Ketchum, 1:50pm.
Ride the Sheep Shuttle to the Sheepherder Walk north of Ketchum. Third-generation sheep rancher John Peavey will answer questions and discuss the history and practices of sheep ranching in the Wood River Valley. Donations accepted for bus service.
Neal Canyon at the end of Eagle Creek Road, 6.3 miles North of Ketchum, 2:15 - 3pm.
The Sheepherder Walk is a guided tour with John Peavey and local historian Ivan Swaner through aspen groves filled with sheepherder carvings on trees. The names and drawings are a record of the men and women who camped in the area with their sheep and walked the trails over the years. No charge.
Many Valley restaurants join festival activities serving an array of American lamb specials throughout the weekend. Plan early and make reservations to dine before or after the evening Sheep Tales Gatherings.
Trailing of the Sheep Art Exhibit
Fascinating exhibit by over 28 professional artists featuring Western life and sheep trailing cultures. Exhibit on display October 10th -20th. No charge. Art available for purchase.
Western Folklife: History of American Sheep Ranching
In this exhibit the Western Folklife Center presents stories, images, and expressive material culture reflecting the perspectives, hopes, and challenges of contemporary sheep ranchers. Sheep ranching in the West is continually changing as it adapts to globalization demands and environmental pressures. This exhibit provides a multimedia snapshot of this once prominent, but now threatened, lifestyle.
Visit the re-creation of Lane Mercantile, the historic site of the sheepmen's gathering place for years. On Sunday at 10am local historian Ivan Swaner will be on hand to talk about valley history and provide information before the parade. No charge.
Blaine County Historical Museum
Main Street, Hailey, Friday and Saturday, 11am - 5pm, Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum
hosts a Traveling Sheepherder Display from the Western Folklife Center of Elko, NV.
Ketchum Forest Service Park, 1st & Washington: Thursday, October 9 - Saturday October 11, 1pm-4pm; Sunday, October 12, 1pm-3pm.