Iron County celebrates heritage with festival, sheep parade

More than 1,000 head of sheep are herded down Main Street during the Sheep Parade, the highlight of the annual Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival that is now in its 11th year. Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – Cedar City’s tranquil downtown got a little wild and wooly Saturday morning when more than 1,000 sheep were herded down Main Street as part of this year’s Sheep Parade.

The Sheep Parade is the highlight of the annual Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival that is now in its 11th year. Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George / Cedar City News
The Sheep Parade is the highlight of the annual Cedar City Livestock and Heritage Festival that is now in its 11th year. Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George / Cedar City News

The event is the highlight of the annual celebration of Southern Utah’s agricultural traditions and lifestyle celebrated every fall during the Cedar Livestock & Heritage Festival.

The Sheep Parade, now in its 11th year, is considered one of the most unique parades in the country, Maria Twitchell, executive director for Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau said.

The sheep follow the historic livestock trail from Cedar Mountain down Main Street, to their winter home in Cedar Valley. Festival chairman Chad Reid said this is the same route that has been traveled since 1870 when the first sheep were herded from their summer range on Cedar Mountain.

“The sight of a herd of sheep trailing down Main Street through historic downtown is an exciting glimpse of our livestock heritage and truly a spectacle not to be missed,” Reid said. “You never know if the sheep are going to behave or not.”

Horses, wagons, antique tractors, stock dogs, and historic and modern sheep camps were all part of the procession that made its way down Main Street from 200 South to 200 North.

After the parade the tractors and sheep camps are on display the remainder of the day at the Cross Hollows Events Center, located at 11 North Cross Hollows Drive – the same place the festival is being held through Sunday.

There is a variety of authentic events scheduled for the day including cowboy poetry, Dutch Oven cooking contest, draft horse and antique tractor pull, stock dog demo, sheep camp display, horse rides, quilt show, vintage auto show, ranch rodeo and cowboy church.

New events have also been added this year to include the Sheep Lead Contest; a sort of sheep fashion show according to Reid, where “contestants not only display their fashion skills but also their sheep-handling talents.” The contest takes place Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the events center.

For more information on all the Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival activities visit www.cedarlivestockfest.com.

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Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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