Sun Valley's Trailing of the Sheep nominated for USA Today's Best Fall Festival

They need your vote to make the Top Ten
Sun Valley's Trailing of the Sheep Festival
Posted at 1:58 PM, Aug 09, 2023

KETCHUM, Idaho — Ketchum, ID hosts an annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival, known by most Idahoans. Once again, it has received a nomination to be included in the Top Ten Best Fall Festivals in America, and with enough votes, could even take the number one spot.

You can vote once a day for your favorite festival. Voting ends on September 4, and winners selected for the Top Ten will be announced on September 15.

To vote for this festival click here.

It all started in the fall of 1996 when ranchers John and Diane Peavey invited locals to meet for coffee at a local shop and then help walk sheep through the Valley, teaching volunteers the tradition of trailing sheep. In addition to minimizing conflicts between users of the bike path and the sheep, the Peavey's shared stories about the history, culture, and heritage of the Wood River Valley.

People loved it, and it became an annual event moving more than 1,000 sheep through Main Street following a parade of Basque and Peruvian dancers. The festival has grown and now lasts for five days in October, with a number of events happening in both Hailey and Ketchum.

In 2022, the five-day festival brought in 25,000 people to the area coming from 47 states and 9 foreign countries, boosting the local economy by over $6 million.

In this 27th year, the five-day festival in October will include cooking classes, sheep-dog trials, wool and spinning workshops, and of course, the parade of Sheep.

Through the years, the festival has racked up many accolades:

  • Top Ten Fall Festivals in the World - travel
  • Top 7 Fun Fall Festivals - National Geographic
  • Top Ten US Fall Festivals -
  • Top Animal Festivals in the World - USA Today
  • Top Ten Fall Festivals - USA Today
  • Top 7 Fun Fall Festivals - AARP
  • One of the Greatest Cultural Events in the West - Northwest Travel

For more information on this year's Trailing of the Sheep festival, visit