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,  The Gold Trails Re-enactment Group and of course our very own Pirate Pete. 

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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.




Drag racing for dogs

During the Sunday you will see teams compete in a relay race; team against team. The sport of flyball is like Drag racing for dogs. The sport takes the average backyard dog, and places them in a team with fellow doggy mates to run against other doggy mates. The sport has Dogs barking in enjoyment and handlers and the crowd cheering the dogs on to close racing finishes.

At the end of racing you will see the dogs and handlers dressing up in a theme fashion parade which is a great laugh better then the Myers spring fashion parade.

So come and see teams from Queanbeyan, Canberra and Sydney battle it out for title points on the Recreation Oval from 8:00am to 4:00pm.




Movie Night & Fireworks

Saturday Night Movie & Fireworks

Join us for the Movie Night & Fireworks event to mark the beginning of the 2019 Irish Woolfest on Saturday 5th October 2019. The night will begin at 6:00pm. Bring your family, chairs and a picnic and enjoy the Fireworks from 8pm.

Held at the Boorowa Recreation Club, Market Street. 

Mad Kelpie Playdate 


Instrumental Celtic trad five piece Mad Kelpie Playdate formed in 2017 through a mutual love of high energy bagpipe music and even higher energy crazy dogs. Based in Queanbeyan and the surrounding region, the band combines smallpipes, uilleann pipes, flute, guitar and percussion to provide a lively modern take on traditional Celtic music, with influences from bluegrass and pipe bands. 2018 saw them release their debut self-titled album and perform at the Quirindi Tattoo, the Irish & Celtic Music Festival in Yass and Folk by the Sea.

Click here for Mad Kelpie’s Facebook Page




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 and keep an eye out for Pirate Pete’s and his cheeky shenanigans.


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.


St John’s Art Show

Showcasing local talent

St Johns Official Opening: Cocktail Party Friday 4 October 2o19, 6:30pm $25 entry fee (Drinks and Canapaes inhcluded)

Located at the Old Court House Building.

Open all weekend

Saturday 5 October – Monday 7 Oct 2019

Open from 10am – 5pm, Old Court House Building

Plan your visit