Time for people – and sheep – to shed wool

Now that area residents are poised to put those cold-weather garments away, the sheep are ready to lose their winter coats, and the public is invited to experience the shear spectacle of this family-friendly experience.

Last month, this sheep needed its wooly coat; by next month, it will be happy to lose it.

Last month, this Chester County sheep needed its wooly coat; next month, it will be happy to lose it.

Chester County’s annual Sheep & Wool Day will be held Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Springton Manor Farm in Glenmoore.

The highlight of the day is the annual shearing of the herd, which takes place throughout the day. Gather round the tent to watch the shearer remove the woolen fleece and learn how it is used, according to a Springton Manor press release.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Folkie Dolkies, an acoustic group, will take the stage with a mix of country, blues, folk, old time and bluegrass music. Covering original tunes as well as old favorites and traditional tunes, the group’s sound evokes nostalgic feelings of bygone days. Instrumentation includes guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and the old doghouse (upright bass).

 At 1:30 p.m., juggler Randy Lyons will perform with feats that include spinning plates, Chinese yo-yo’s, cigar boxes, poi swings, and crystal balls. When not on stage, Lyons will roam throughout the event, inviting attendees to try juggling.

Ridley Creek State Park’s Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will demonstrate butter-churning using paddles, educate onlookers about molds and the butter-making industry, and demonstrate dyeing natural fibers. Discover what can be used to make all those vibrant colors, the release said.

Guilds, including the Lancaster Spinners & Weavers Guild and Brandywine Rug Hooking Guild, will showcase wool spinning, carding, rug hooking, weaving, and other artisan crafts. Purls of Wisdom, from Phoenixville, will introduce children to finger knitting, arm knitting, and spool knitting.

In addition, guests can visit with the young animals in Springton’s Great Barn or tour the Agricultural Museum to learn about seasonal tools used on Chester County farms from the 1700s to the 1900s. Penn State Extension and 4-H Clubs will provide animal exhibits, including ponies, milking goats, cows and swine. The Chester County Animal Response Team will demonstrate how to prepare animals for emergencies.

Walk through the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s interactive, 40-foot Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab to learn about products Pennsylvania farms provide for our use. Chester County Master Gardeners will hold a plant sale, offering a mix of vegetables, herbs and native plants, and the Chester County Food Bank will showcase its partnership with Springton Manor through its outdoor classroom and raised bed gardens, the release said.

Play in the corncribs, have your face decorated, and appreciate the significance of farm equipment. See letter pressing, an ancient form of printing, and visit the craft vendors displaying assorted products from jewelry to soaps, photography and birdhouses. Grab lunch or a snack from a selection of food vendors.

Take a wagon ride through Springton’s scenic 300 acres and help support the Friends of Springton Manor. This nonprofit group dedicated to recreation, education, conservation and preservation of the Farm, will have information on becoming involved with activities at the park.

The event will be held rain or shine. Parking is $5 per car, and admission and activities are free. Vendors will have products for sale, and an ATM will be available on site.

Springton Manor Farm, a working demonstration farm operated by Chester County Facilities & Parks, is located five miles west of Downingtown, off Route 322 in Glenmoore. For more information, call the park at 610-942-2450 or visit www.chesco.org/ccparks.




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