New York State Sheep and Wool Festival

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New York State Sheep and Wool Festival
KeyHarp Hannah 2006.jpg
Keyed fiddle at the 2006 festival
BeginsThird weekend in October
Location(s)Rhinebeck, New York
ParticipantsKnitters, sheep breeders, wool spinners

The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival is an annual gathering of fiber-arts enthusiasts in the United States that draws approximately 30,000 visitors and more than 300 vendors.[1] It is held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York.


The festival was first held in 1972.[2] It is attended by knitters, crocheters, handspinners, and growers of natural-fiber-producing livestock. The livestock includes sheep, goats, angora rabbits, llamas, musk oxen, and alpacas.[2] It also includes vendors of the materials and tools associated with each. It is held in October of each year at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York.[3] In addition to the myriad vendors and demonstrations of fiber arts activities, the festival features several livestock competitions, sheepdog trials and a sheep to shawl contest.

In 2007 for the 35th festival about 12,000 people attended. 375 vendors applied for the 275 spaces.[2]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no live in-person festival in 2020. Officials instead moved events online to a virtual platform. The festival returned to in-person festivities in 2021, though there was a decrease in attendance.[4] YouTuber KristyGlassKnits has a popular annual podcast called "Show Me Your Rhinebeck Sweater".[citation needed]

The New York Times notes that there is a trending interest in knitting among younger generations.[5]

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External links[edit]


  1. ^ Roshitsh, Kaley (19 October 2022). "Wool Wearings: Upstate Fashion at New York Sheep and Wool Fest". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Tina Kelley (October 22, 2007). "A Festival Where Wool Is the Main Attraction". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-06. About 375 vendors applied for the festival, which is now in its 35th year, but only 275 made the cut. Some sold balls of qiviut, the fine, soft underbelly fiber from the musk ox, for $50 each; others sold felted cloches and pointy hats, spindles, spinning wheels, and bags upon bags of fleeces and of roving, thick lengths of wool ready to spin.
  3. ^ Adrienne Martini (2010). Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously. Simon and Schuster. p. 145. ... the sense of touch has the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. ...
  4. ^ Hubert, Brian (18 October 2021). "The 2021 NY State Sheep & Wool Festival". Times Union. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  5. ^ Adams, Rose (22 October 2022). "Young Knitters Discover a Decades-Old Wool Festival". New York Times (Style). Retrieved 22 October 2022.

Coordinates: 41°56′12″N 73°54′19″W / 41.936787°N 73.905256°W / 41.936787; -73.905256