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Trailing of the Sheep

Trailing of the Sheep in 2011.

SUN VALLEY – The Trailing of the Sheep Festival, held yearly in Sun Valley, just received another national feather in its cap.

At its recent annual convention, the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) announced the winners of the 2017 Phoenix Awards that recognize outstanding conservation and preservation efforts in tourism.

The two Phoenix Awards were presented to the festival and the Shorefast Foundation and Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland, Canada.

“Excellence doesn’t often come on the first try. It is a process that often involves failing and learning from that failure. That’s what makes these honorees such a source of inspiration: Their passion compels them, and their desire propels them. Thank you for standing up and standing out as examples of excellence,” said SATW President Catharine Hamm, also a travel editor for the Los Angeles Times.

The Trailing of the Sheep Festival was nominated for the award by Stan Wawer, a freelance travel journalist from California who came to the Festival a few years ago. “It was a no brainer for me to nominate the Trailing of the Sheep Festival for an SATW Phoenix Award. Everything about the festival met the criteria for the award — a contribution to a quality travel experience through conservation and preservation. Congratulations to this community effort that now brings joy to thousands every October.”

Comments on the Trailing of the Sheep Festival nomination from the Phoenix Award judges included:

“This festival absolutely delights the community and the scope of international tourists who attend it.”

“This lively festival event showcases the sheep ranching tradition. It presents an earthy, organic culture of the area.”

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“It preserves and enlightens a way of life that has almost entirely disappeared, and it teaches us where wool and meat come from and how they get here.”

“We are quite honored to receive this national award from such a prestigious travel journalist organization,” commented Laura Musbach Drake, executive director of the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. “We know that our story is a great travel story – and are thrilled that many others now know that as well. As attendance continues to grow at our Festival, it proves people are interested in seeking out unique cultural travel experiences and the Trailing of the Sheep Festival is certainly one of the best.”

Dates for the 2018 Trailing of the Sheep Festival are October 10-14. Information:


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