THERE’S not many events as unique as Merriwa’s annual Festival of the Fleeces.
That’s why, year after year, crowds line Bettington Street and city folk flock to the country to soak in an authentic rural experience, celebrating Merriwa’s wool industry and heritage.
It’s no surprise that around 5,000 people again brought the town to life, enjoying food stalls, dog high jump, wool demonstrations and entertainment.
The highlight of the day was the annual ‘Running of the Sheep’ in their woolly red socks.
However with the crippling drought tightening its grip; this year’s flock was almost half the size, reduced from 200 to less than 100.
Overcast skies held out until after the parade and then, in a small show of mercy, rain hit the parched paddocks.
The community event is not-for-profit, run by a group of volunteers and generates much needed funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Merriwa and District Volunteer Rescue Squads.
The Festival of the Fleeces continues on Sunday, with a team penning competition, bush poetry and the ‘Blessing of the Fleece’ service.
View a festival program at http://www.festivalofthefleeces.com.au/