A Sheepish Festival in Sleepy Hollow at Historic Hudson Valley

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shearing| by Fabienne Schneuwly  |

Hats and gloves keep us warm during every winter. Why not welcome spring by learning more about everything woolly and sheepish?

Historic Hudson Valley invites everyone to Philipsburg Manor, in Sleepy Hollow for the annual Sheep-to-Shawl Festival on April 18-19. Visitors can explore the exact process of turning wool into cloth using techniques from the 18th century and even try out their own skill by participating in hands-on activities such as weaving. Scottish border collies will show their immense talent at sheep-herding on the grounds. They are definitely going to be a highlight for all the kids who are encouraged to reproduce a piece of clothing from 300 years ago for a great photo opportunity. There will also be a fashion show complete with critiques from Historic Hudson Valley’s  expert costume designer, as well as, entertaining tales brought to life by master storyteller Jonathan Kruk.

Visitors will have the possibility to enjoy a remarkable exhibit in the Visitor Center Auditorium entitled Art of the Reproductions – Recreating Period Textiles. This unique display of textile pieces from the Historic Hudson Valley’s collection, along with a variety from other modern venues, will help people appreciate this often neglected area of expertise. The exhibit highlights the skills, techniques and materials which are necessary to reproduce period textile. It also takes a look at the importantance of costume reproduction culturally. Among the pieces on display, there will be a quilted coverlet from Sunnyside, the romantic homestead of Washington Irving, several petticoats from the collection of Philipsburg Manor and one hand-sewn shirt from a private collection. Visitors will also be able to see tools relating to reproducing textile pieces and samples of patterns. Since period fabrics play a key role in many modern television shows and theater productions, there will be a display board showing images of historical costumes in use on Downtown Abbey on PBS and in Game of Thrones on HBO.

Another offering this year, in conjunction with the exhibit, will be a series of talks and workshops for visitors who want to learn more about knitting, sewing, quilting and how to care for family heirlooms. The workshops and talks will be held in the Visitor Center Greenhouse on both days of the weekend.

Irvington’s Geordane’s market will be providing a freshly prepared lunch menu and locally sourced homemade ice cream will be courtesy of Croton’s The Blue Pig.

The festival takes place on the weekend of April 18th and 19th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Schedules and tickets can be found at: www.hudsonvalley.org/events/sheep-shawl.

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