Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.

Last weekend I went to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. I heard there would be bunnies and llamas and alpacas and punkin’ chunkin’, I just had to go. So my mom and I took the two-hour ride up to Rhinebeck, NY. The weather was gorgeous, the leaves were changing and it was just so durn pretty. And lookit – I took pictures.

Right in the entrance you were greeted by a pen with two lovely rams with spotted noses and pretty horns.


Then immediately after that, there were lemurs! I know! I was surprised too.

Ring-tailed lemurs, three of them hanging around a heat lamp:


And a brown lemur who looked slightly deranged and sleep-deprived, but I think that’s just how they look:


And a super-Qte kangaroo sunbathing.


Mmm, tasty sun. Do you see the pouch-hole? It’s a lady roo.

Then there’s the food booths, all kinds of predictable and unpredictable fair options. I had just had brunch (I really freakin’ love a good Bloody Mary. It’s always a good day when you start with alcoholic gazpacho.) so I passed on pretty much everything offered, but they had deep-fried dough, baked potatoes with a myriad of toppings, ice cream, caramel apples (okay, I TOTALLY had one of those, SO worth it), sheep cheese sellers and this booth, which clearly sold a little of everything.


Well-painted signage, too. My favorite are the two signs inside the booth, one for pickles and one for cappuccino. It reminded me of one of my first dates with Cricket, when we went to the Museum of Natural History (“the wacky evolution museum”). We had toured it and needed lunch so we went to the cafeteria and I learned an important thing about Cricket, which is that he liked to dunk food items into other food items regardless of what either of those items are. We get lunch and Cricket gets a slice of pizza, some garlic knots and some raspberry coffee. You can tell where this is going. Garlic knots right into the coffee. I was like, “O …kay, that’s an intriguing flavor combination.” Meanwhile a greasy garlic film is forming on his coffee and I’m considering dumping him right there, it was so gross. I didn’t and I’m glad I overlooked his strange dunking fetish. But when I saw the pickles and cappuccino signs right next to each other, I thought perhaps if Cricket was there, he would consider that an excellent dunking situation. Moving on.

Shortly after the food options was the fiddling competition. Really. I have pictures. Look, fiddling.


Waiting for their turn to fiddle.


More kids waiting for their turn to fiddle. I had no idea there were this many fiddle-playing aficionados in upstate New York.


And then, sheep. A great multitude of sheep. Come meet some sheep. This one had cool horns.


Different angle on horny (tee hee!) ram.


These are sheep getting judged for whatever sheepish (snork!) qualities the judges look for. I also learned sheep hate being judged.


They make a shrieking “BAAAAAHAA!” noise and try to kick, they are not all poised like show dogs. However, outside the ring, they can imitate lap dogs.


Awww. That’s Sue. Sue the Sheep. She likes to sit on her owner’s lap and just hang out. Isn’t she sweet?

Every farm that was there got a pen, and you could hang a sign telling people who you were and what kinds of sheep you bred, wool you had, etc. Most signs were just big vinyl ones, but this one was different and charming.


And this one made me want to give the owners of the farm a big underpants wedgie.


Then we moved onto the llamas. Big, fluffy llamas. Here is a llama peering at me through clothing made with his fiber. He’s an inquisitive llama.


But some llamas are not as bright. This llama was staring off into the distance. See how his mouth is full of hay? He’s not chewing it. Just, you know, blankly staring. Holding hay in his mouth. I would like to think that he was thinking about something very important that required all of his brain power, but I’m guessing he was listening to the breeze gently flow through his empty head.


There were alpacas there too, but I forgot to take pictures of them. Just imagine a smaller llama with a cushion of fluffiness on their heads. That’s what an alpaca looks like. There were also some rabbits there, angora and lionhead rabbits, and they were just delightful. I was so busy petting them that I forgot to take pictures of them. I found some on the internet, though.

Lionhead rabbits:

lionhead-rabbit.jpg lionhead.jpg

Angora rabbits:

hope0912.jpg angora_rabbit.jpg

And did I mention there was some wool at this thing? Oh, there was wool.


Rooms and rooms of the stuff.




By then, Mom and I were tired, so we headed out and on out way back to the car, we saw the kangaroo again. And the little joey was poking its little joey face out of the pouch! Everyone standing around melted like sno-cones in the sun. So precious.


Also, I wanted to add that I saw a woman there with a baby boy, and the baby boy was sporting the most delightful hat.


That’s the baby, and that’s the hat. Go buy it for everyone you know. The hat, I mean.

And this woman has a video blog about 2006’s festival (which looks identical to this year’s festival) I recommend you watch it.


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