Program & Events

What’s on at The Irish Woolfest

The Irish Woolfest is packed with activities and entertainment for all ages. And it’s not limited to the day itself – there are events all weekend!

Key events:

and much more, including the Canberra Celtic Pipe Band and Dancers, Wood Chopping Demonstrations and The Gold Trails Re-enactment Group.

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The Running of the Sheep

The main event

“The Running of the Sheep” has been likened to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and is considered Boorowa’s special woolly version. It is not to be compared to the danger of the bulls as our sheep are cute and cuddly but certainly as visually exciting. Visitors love the sheepdog component when they see the trusty kelpies leaping on and off the sheep’s backs as they race down the street guided by Farmer Ashley on his four wheel motorbike. This is an opportunity to see Boorowa’s fine Merino sheep up close and personal.

The sheep are kindly provided by Merryville Stud, which was founded in 1903 by the late Sir Walter Merriman and is in the unique position of having maintained management, selection and classing in a father/son relationship for the last 114 years.

Merryville rams are available throughout the year at all major multi-vendor sales as well as the stud’s on-property ram sale on Friday 14th September 2018. Flock rams are also available from mid-September each year. 

Visit Merryville Stud’s website



Blessing of the Fleece

An old tradition

A sheep is shorn with old time shears on the shearing shack and the fleece is thrown on the stage to receive a spiritual thanksgiving for the fine wool of the district at The Ecumenical Blessing of the Fleece.

Boorowa is world renowned for its fine wool and this is an important event of the Irish Woolfest.


O’Neill’s Folly


O’Neill’s Folly are late bloomers, who journeyed back to music by various
paths, but at one stage all were adults having lessons with Australian folk
legend and multi-­instrumentalist maestro Dave O’Neill.
Influenced by a diverse range of musical styles, including trad Irish,
country, bluegrass and gospel, as well as classic rock and pop, and
given guidance and musical and technical advice from maestro O’Neill,
the band are firm friends all having immense fun becoming the musicians
they were always destined to be, albeit a little bit later than usual. With
textured and nuanced arrangements they bring a folkie twist to songs old
and new. From Celtic love songs, to country gems, from Australian
classics to some belting Irish tunes. Weaving rich harmonies around
fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and zouk, come be surprised, entertained
and even inspired by their infectious enthusiasm and shared joy.

Frolick with the Follies!

The Shearing Shack

Sheer skill!

Shearers demonstrate their great skills on the Shearing Shack throughout the day with Boorowa’s gun shearers performing at their best.

A top shearer will explain the procedures and activities performed by the shearers as they demonstrate their skills.


The Street Parade

A visual delight

Following The Running of The Sheep, the main street will be filled with a magical meandering of floats.

Check out the creative creations from our local community!

Boutique Markets

Local quality

Tantalise your tastebuds with an array of homemade sauces, dressings and jams in unique flavours with a variety of delectable tastes to suit all palettes. Walsh’s Country Kitchen also create fruit cakes and plum puddings like Grandma used to make. Gourmet honey and a range of unusual bee souvenirs are available for purchase whilst a range of olive oils and olive products can be sourced from a variety of regional vendors. The Pantry on Pudman, a local shop which is well known for its great coffee, also has a wonderful range of gourmet products.

Light up your world and create atmosphere in your home with romantic candles from Three Wishes, Care for your body with a visit to health product stalls for a beautiful treat, with natural beauty products made to heal and soothe. Local Clubs will be hosting food stalls including the Historical Society and the Boorowa Lions Club.

An amazing variety of creative stalls provide a wide variety of boutique products. From garden products, to jewellery, candles, woollen garments and much more a range of quality that will dazzle you.


Plan your visit