The concept behind this community led festival, now in its fourth year, was to showcase the best of Llandovery, to share its cultural identity and historical past through the promotion of the wool industry and the local farming economy. This year’s packed programme will certainly not disappoint and has something for everyone.
The town’s Market Square and Castle Fields will be a kaleidoscope of colour with over 60 exhibitors displaying their wares from textiles and art and craft to food and drink.
There’ll be a culinary master class to tickle the taste buds with Cambrian Welsh Lamb on the menu. Staying with the subject of food, the Cawl and Cake Trail will once again tease out the competitive spirit amongst local cafes, bars and hotels – all aiming to clinch this year’s Golden Sheep Award for producing the best cawl (Welsh broth) and cake of the day. Sheep are beginning to appear all over town in the windows of participating venues and the public will choose the winners after eating their way around town.
The streets of Llandovery will also be packed with entertainment and music with popular acts such as Fiddlebox, the accordion and violin duo offering an exciting twist on traditional Welsh music. The circus will also be in town in the shape of Organised Kaos with acrobatic performances certain to dazzle the crowds. Prizes for the best window displays and recognising the breed of sheep will also be keenly contested.
All children – adults too – like a good mystery and horror story and the appropriately named magician and storyteller, Nicolas Grimoire will be on hand to regale them with his ‘Dastardly Discoveries – A weird history of Llandovery’. On the subject of spinning a good yarn, visitors can also experience a demonstration of wool spinning and peg loom rug weaving. Some of Wales’ finest woollen textiles will also be on display at this year’s festival.
No sheep festival worth its wool would be complete without sheep and naturally, our four-legged woolly friends will have a strong presence at this year’s event. Keeping this unruly bunch under control requires exceptional organisational skills and a good degree of patience or in this case a dog and the annual sheep dog trials. Those wanting a more up close and personal experience with the wool can do so by taking part in the wool sack race, competing for the coveted Brewin Dolphin Award.
There’s been a real sense of excitement in the town ahead of this year’s festival with everyone keen to be involved. The children of Ysgol Rhys Prichard, with the help of their teacher Susan Morgan, created a wonderful piece of art (picture inset) on which all the children have signed their names in a swirl of wool.
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority Member Champion for Agriculture and Land Management, Edward Evans said, “The Llandovery Sheep Festival has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2010. It is an event that’s been wholeheartedly embraced by the people of Llandovery and its success is very much a reflection of that. Events such as this are important to the agricultural community, not only in terms of bringing people together but also in terms of showcasing the best of local produce, goods and services.”
For further information visit: www.llandoverysheepfestival.co.uk