CEDAR CITY — Upwards of 1000 sheep clogged Main Street in Cedar City early Saturday afternoon, along with dozens of tractors, horses, antique cars, and a bluegrass band. It was all part of the 8th Annual Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival.
Sheep have been vital to the Cedar City economy since pioneer days. The early Mormon settlers of Cedar City depended upon livestock for survival in the rugged mountain climate. The pioneers soon learned that, while most animals struggled to survive in the cold, dry region, sheep seemed to thrive. Before long, sheep became an important staple of region’s economy.
The parade honors that heritage. Although it’s only an 8-year-old tradition, the sheep parade and tractor drive have proven to be very popular, as crowds of children and adults lined Main Street to watch the spectacle.
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Videocast by Michael Flynn, St. George News
The sheep came at the end of the parade, following the tractors and the antique cars. The crowd became quiet as the sheep shuffled across the asphalt and the sound of hooves and tin bells filled the street. One spectator, Maria Landon of Cedar City said she felt a sense of reverence.
“It’s very quiet and peaceful,” Landon said.
“It’s like we are sheep,” said Maria’s daughter, Rachel. “And if we follow our shepherd, we’ll know which way to go.”
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