Sheep and Wool fest returning

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The 2014 Sheep & Wool Festival will be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck on Oct. 18 and 19.

The festival features livestock shows, vendors, food and more, all to celebrate the Hudson Valley’s sheep and wool-related heritage. Competitions such as “make it with wool” and “fleece to shawl” are major draws, as are the sheep dog demonstrations and plenty of activities for all ages.

This year’s festival will again feature the Zero Waste Initiative, which focuses on reducing garbage at the event. Just like last year, attendees are encouraged to use the appropriate recycling and compost receptacles. Last year, the festival generated a total of 11 bags of trash at an event that usually attracts 30,000 to 40,000 people throughout the weekend, according to the fest’s website.

The initiative is run by Beacon-based waste management company Zero to Go. The company’s director, Sarah Womer, told the Observer that this year’s zero waste efforts are an expansion on last year’s pilot project. “ZTG will have five zero waste stations set up around the food and drink areas of the fair. This way, the event can compost and recycle as much as possible, and reduce the amount of material that’ll go to the incinerator or landfill,” she said.

On Saturday, the festival will run from 9am to 5pm, and on Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. General admission is $12, but you can purchase tickets at a savings, or buy weekend passes, at www.dutchessfair.com.

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