Dinner “Cruise” and Alpacas

I’m checking off my list, “Get Quirky in May” and this past weekend visited the Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival at the Washington County Fairgrounds — you need not be a knitter to enjoy.

We had a perfect spring day Saturday, May 7, for the Shepherd’s Festival and had a great time learning about fiber arts. I don’t think I’ve met friendlier people, and each person we encountered told us we were in for some fun … they were right.

We first toured the four buildings of vendors and artists, meeting shepherds, spinners, rug hookers and knitters, most of whom we met were from Minnesota. All were more than happy to explain their craft.

Minneapolitan, Steven Berg with A Yarn Garage Workshop was one of a few male knitters at the show — fact is, knitting used to be a man’s job, documented as far back to the Vikings. Laurie Lausen with L.J. Fibers at The Wooly Red Rug in South Minneapolis, gave us a short course on over-dying and rug hooking. Wool spinner, Jill, explained the art of spinning to my husband and another spinner told me there are electric, tabletop spinning machines for those who cannot operate a foot pedal.

Another building housed all the classes available during the two-day festival, including Ellie Lida’s basket weaving class where for only $30 you make and take a lovely basket.

All around were alpacas, llamas and sheep, and we watched sheep getting sheared, their wool getting “skirted” and watched herding dogs work the ring. Also offered are llama rides for kiddies and freshly grilled food, including lamb, from 4-Hers.

For you knitters out there, the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild has an ongoing project called Chemo Caps, for individuals going through chemotherapy. They are always looking for cap donations. Contact them at www.knitters.org.

Put this festival on your calendar for next year, the fairgrounds are accessible, parking and the show is free and it’s one you won’t want to miss!

On Mother’s Day, we went to the Knotareel Getaway Cruise and dinner at Historic Mounds Theatre. The theater has been restored nicely and would make a great place to hold your next reunion, reception or anniversary party.

I hate to be negative because the theatre owners are trying to revitalize the area by helping its youth but for $49.50 per person, the play should have been at least as interesting as the blurb on the theater’s website.

There were few bright spots of humor, especially from the Steward, some of the songs were fun but the play and dinner were mostly disappointing. In my defense, this was not on my Get Quirky in May list.

Ramping makes the theater accessible but the area where the food buffet had limited space for wheelchairs so the “Captain” brought me my food. Street parking is limiting for wheelchair lifts and we had to park a block away from the entrance.

Upcoming Mound events include the world premiere screening, May 18, of Gangsterland, a documentary about gangsters in 1930s Minnesota the Paranormal Pajama Party Overnight, May 20; and free summer acting classes for 8 to 13-year olds.

Shepherd’s Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival

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