You won’t see many white sheep at this weekend’s Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds. The show was founded 41 years ago to preserve the genetics of black, brown and grey animals.
The event began in the mid-1970s with gatherings held at people’s homes. It’s grown every year and this year will take over the convention space as well as the expo barns at the fairgrounds. Wayne Thompson has been involved for 35 years:
Thompson: “The Black Sheep Gathering is looked upon as one of the most prestigious shows of its kind anywhere in the world. It’s a very large show. We have people coming with their animals from all the way Michigan, the Midwest, Minnesota, many from Montana, Colorado.”
Thompson says there will be over 600 animals, more than the Oregon State Fair. This year, they’ll feature alpacas for the first time, as well as angora goats. Fleece will be judged and then sold to fiber artists.
The Black Sheep Gathering is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:00 on Sunday) at the Lane Events Center. More information here.