We spent three hours at the festival, spoke to many merchants, crafts people, and artisans. We also sampled a bit of country fare, petted lots of animals, and generally had a great time.
Many of the displays were interesting and informative. One we found to be particularly interesting was from Springbrook Farm. The owners of Springbrook, Richard and Dorothy Bolton of Stow MA, raise Alpacas.
Alpacas are very unusual looking and beautiful animals. Their fleece is amazingly soft. If you want to find out more about these amazing animals, go check out the NEAOBA site.
The main attraction at the Festival was, of course, the sheep shearing demonstration. In the hands of experienced hands, a sheep is shorn in matter of minutes.
The sheep was surprisingly compliant through out the entire shearing process. Given the size and apparent sharpness of the scissors, this was probably a good thing.
Every festival has merchants selling handmade crafts and other creative arts. This festival had plenty of both. Some were their just to demonstrate, others had products for sale.
Many of the artisans were from the local fiber arts community. Some, like Nanney Kennedy, create products with wool sheep raised on her own farm.
There was a large tent with several artisans demonstrating various techniques for turning fleece into thread and yarn.
Others were showing how those materials were then used to create the final products most of us used (sweathers, blankets, socks, etc...)
RainyDayMagazine readers know that every one of our outings usually involve testing some new gear. This one was no different. Getting to and photographing the Festival was also a good chance for us to test some of the new stuff we have briefly mentioned recently.
It was an opportunity for us to take the TrekPod and Kata W-32 WaistPack out for a FirstUse. Both performed well in this first outing and we look forward to using them extensively this Spring and Summer. For a more detailed review of our FirstUse experience with both pieces of gear, check out the full report here. - Wan Chi Lau