Since the early 1800’s, Basque tradition has been widely celebrated in Idaho. A large component of the Basque culture has been sheep herding and all things wool-related. The festival is also celebrated by Scottish bagpipers who pave the way for the sheep during the parade. Altogether, the festival honors the culmination of cultures that have provided the West with its authenticity and grit. It is a perfect way to experience autumn in the mountains of Idaho, witness beautiful culture, and see the West in a way you never have before, as well.
Photographer Joe Haeberle attended the 22nd annual Trailing of the Sheep festival in Ketchum, Idaho. Twice a year, the Faulkner family trails 1,500 sheep through the main street of town to celebrate the local Basque sheep-herding tradition.
During the event, people from all over the country come to see sheep shearing, sheep herding dog competitions, and so much more. Sheep cuisines are served by restaurants, wool clothing vendors showcase their best products during woolfest, and ranchers come together to celebrate a night in town rather than on the ranch. At the end of the weekend, a parade is attended by everyone in town and 1,500 sheep are herded through the main street by shepherds on horseback.