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Ketchum's Trailing Of The Sheep Festival Called Off Due To COVID-19 Concerns

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BECKY SMITH/TRAILINGOFTHESHEEP.ORG
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The five-day Trailing of the Sheep Festival honors the century-and-a-half-long tradition of moving sheep from their summertime pastures in the Rocky Mountains to winter grazing areas in central Idaho. 

 

But this year, the event has been called off due to concerns around COVID-19.

“We have about a $4.5 million dollar economic impact on our community in terms of people lodging, eating, drinking and shopping when they are here," said Laura Musbach Drake, the executive director of the festival.

She said the cancellation will add to the list of economic setbacks Ketchum and the Wood River Valley are facing because of the virus, but said the risk was too great. 

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Credit RACHEL COHEN/BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

Although there will be no formal get together, the sheep will still make their way down from the mountains this October. Drake said she encourages people to celebrate the migration and the history in their own way. 

“We hope that you do catch a glimpse of the sheep if you’re in town in the fall and take some of your own photos and make your own memories," said Drake.

Next year is the festival’s 25th anniversary. Drake says if there's a silver lining to the cancellation, it’s that now they have more time to make next year bigger and better.

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