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Sheep Shearing Festival Signals Spring

We've doffed our winter outer wear and at Philipsburg Manor's 'Sheep-to-Shawl' on April 16-17, the sheep doff theirs, meaning spring has really arrived. Also being celebrated at the farm are spring's newly sprung newborn animals and the site's lushening up landscapes. A dozen or so frisky baby lambs are ready to be introduced and other residents, including a dairy cow, Maebell, and Ike and Duke, a team of oxen, are on view, savoring quality time in the fresh air.A living history museum and working farm in Sleepy Hollow, NY, Philipsburg Manor’s farmers will shear the sheep by hand in the barnyard. Adding to the historical authenticity, costumed interpreters demonstrate 18th century techniques for wool dyeing, spinning, and weaving and hand over some duties so young visitors can participate in the process.

A primary focus for Philipsburg Manor, which includes a working water-powered gristmill and new world Dutch barn, is its role in the history of northern slavery. During its 18th century life it depended on 23 slaves to run. Tours of the mill and the manor house show the kind of work the slaves were rquired to perform.

Other planned activities include Gene Sheninger showcasing his Scottish border collies as they expertly herd the farm's sheep and corral its ducks and storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers some entertainment with his spellbinding yarns. Sheep-to-Shawl takes place rain or shine, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. Admission is $6-$12. For more information, visit its website .

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