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

Boorowa Long Lazy Dinner

Saturday 30 September 2017

Dine under the stars, on the Lazy Long Table in the serenity of the greens for a magical night of food and wine for a celebration of local produce sourced from within 100 miles of Boorowa.

Guests will indulge in 4 courses all perfectly partnered with regional wines. Immerse yourself in delights of the region with local artists performing on the green for your listening pleasure.

Each Guest will also take home a small sampler of some of the wonderful produce and wares available from the many cottage industries around the region.

Purchase your ticket here

Adult Tickets: $90 per person (4 courses with matching regional wines). The evenings Menu will remain a mystery as it will be highly influenced by seasonal availability of some of the produce and will be published closer to the event.

When purchasing your ticket please advise of any dietary requirements.

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 8th September 2017. Flock rams are also available from mid-September each year. 

Visit Merryville Stud’s website


Celtic Folk at its best

Brewed in Ireland and distilled in Australia the Barleyshakes are a Celtic band with world music influences who combine intense energy, beautiful harmony and driving dance rhythms in their live performances. Adored throughout Australia and beyond for their “bent” Irish sound, they have recently returned from hugely successful tour of Europe.

Front man Alan Kelly is from Dublin and is known throughout Australia for his passionate and humorous performances. Alan is a remarkable exponent of the Irish drum, having appeared on the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Steve Cook, recent winner of a “Golden Fiddle Award” at Tamworth, plays mandolin, banjo, and fiddle. Founder member and Brisbane born fiddler Kristin Kelly, has travelled the world learning many different folk styles before settling in Ireland for a few years to form the Barleyshakes and really get to know the Celtic style. Completing the Quartet is world music percussionist Erin Sulman, a dynamic and intriguing drummer who celebrates his Irish heritage beautifully with the Shakes.

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.


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.

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.


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.



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.


St John’s Art Show

Showcasing local talent

St Johns Official Opening: Cocktail Party
Friday 29 September 2017, $25 entry fee
Located at the Old Court House Building

Open all weekend
Saturday 29 Sep – Monday 2 Oct 2017
Open from 10am – 5pm, Old Court House Building

Rover RLFC Reunion

For old times’ sake

Saturday 30 September 2017
Boorowa Ex-services Club (55-59 Pudman Street)
All Welcome to view Rovers R.L.F.C. memorabilia from 4:00pm

Dinner: seated at 6:30pm for meals at 7:00pm
RSVP for catering purposes to

Committee for 2017 event:
Robert Styles, Gary Dwyer, Tim Good, Roger Cooper, Tony Walters, Tony Cassells

Plan your visit