Ewe won’t believe your eyes with all the sheep thrills at the IPE.
As the woolly animals are the featured theme of fair, there’s no pulling the wool over the eyes of all who will flock to Armstrong Aug. 29-Sept.2.
“Every year we select a division that we will honour and heighten,” said Yvonne Paulson, IPE general manager.
The sheep division was chosen this year with the theme title Sheep Thrills.
Anna Green has raised sheep for approximately 20 years at her Otter Lake Farm, which have long been prized at the fair. As the director of the sheep division for the last four years, she isn’t sheepish about her excitement over the theme.
“I don’t think there’s anything cuter than a lamb,” said Green. “We even bred a ewe to have her lamb around fair time, she’s due then so hopefully we will have a newborn lamb at the fair.”
Green has lots of sheepish fun in store for the IPE.
One thrill sure to draw a flock is Mutton Bustin’, where kids ages four to seven will try to ride a sheep on Thursday and Friday evenings before the rodeo.
“Our neighbour’s girl has been over practising, there’s a bit of technique to it,” said Green.
Paparazzi wanting to get a snapshot of these celebrity animals can do so at Sheep Shots. Photo opportunities will be available for those with cameras or cell phones with a special backdrop and live sheep ready to photobomb.
When it’s time to take a break, relax at the Lamb Lounge – an area outside the sheep barn.
At the barn is also where pro shearer Phillip Coping of Armstrong will be giving demonstrations.
“He’ll be using his electric sheep shearers to take the wool off, Thursday, Friday and Sunday,” said Green.
Another guest, Jolene Vandenburg, will be doing the same, but with hand shears Thursday, followed by a spinning demo by Falkland resident Brenda Giesbrecht.
O’Keefe Ranch celebrity Ken Mather will also be at the fair with cowboy poetry/sheep poetry Thursday and Sunday.
Those wanting to check out the sheep in their fleece, an open show takes place Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. featuring different breeds of sheep. There will also be commercial mixed breeds competing for titles.
Every day of the fair, penned and available for ewe-phemisms you can catch Rambunctious Ram or On the Lamb ewe and lambs (to be determined) outside the goat barn.
Green’s flock, of approximately 15, are Suffolk sheep, a meat breed.
“We moved onto 12 acres and we wanted something to keep the grass down and they’re easy to manage,” said Green of the decision to breed sheep. “It’s not like a cow these animals are smaller and easier to handle.
“They’re easy to be around, nice to look at, friendly.”