In 1974, a group of people got together to sell wool directly from farmers to the spinners and crafts people, and give everyone a chance to get to know each other. By 2014, this small gathering has become one of the largest festivals of its kind, covering everything to do with sheep.
The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival will be held Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, at the Howard County Fairgrounds.
People from all over the world will be here. One year I even met a couple from New Zealand. You will see license plates from all around the country as you walk through the parking lot, and the parking lot will be overflowing, with people having to park at the Living Farm Heritage Museum on the opposite side of Route 144.
The gates open at 9 a.m. and the vendors will sell until 6 p.m. Admission and parking are free. You can eat lamb, watch someone shear a sheep, watch sheep dogs herding sheep or buy enough wool to keep you busy knitting all year.
Several vendors sell vegetable and flower plants, allowing you to get a start on your garden. There will be a Parade of Breeds showing off the great variety of sheep breeds, and a Sheep to Shawl Contest in which a team shears a sheep, washes, cards and spins the wool and then weaves a shawl while they race against other teams.
Look for the West Friendship Livestock 4-H Club members, who will be selling raffle tickets for a Majacraft portable spinning wheel at the information booth. Breanne Yencha and her fellow club members will also be spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and demonstrating other wool crafts.
One important thing to remember is that dogs are not allowed on the grounds. Also, because so many people will be driving to the festival, there will be massive traffic jams along Route 144 and Route 32 during the entire weekend. Be patient if you are stuck in traffic.
Glenelg High School auditorium is the place to be on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16, at 7 p.m. both nights, for great music. The award winning Orchestra, Madrigals, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and Choral Ensembles will all be performing different concerts over the two nights. Tickets are $8 for one night, or $10 for both nights, and can be obtained from a member of any of the groups, or from the school office.
From Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School comes news that Harry Abrams, who took first place in the school GeoBee, has placed sixth in the Maryland State GeoBee. Harry was competing against students from fourth to eighth grade, so this was quite an accomplishment for a fifth grader. Congratulations, Harry.