Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival, A Favorite Family Event

 2019 Sheep To Shawl – May 5, 2019 from Noon – 4PM

A FREE trolley will be available to transport guests from the Tulip Festival at Hecksher Park round-trip to the Sheep to Shawl Festival

Springtime is a busy time of year for everyone – gardeners start tending their flowers,  spring cleaning begins in earnest, and everyone feels recharged with the promise of longer, and warmer, days.  For the Huntington Historical Society, this time of renewed activity heralds the return of its fun, family-oriented events which highlight the lifestyles, arts, crafts and traditions of historic Huntington.  And for nearly 30  years, the Society has kicked off the spring season with its popular “Sheep to Shawl” Festival on the grounds of the Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House Museum property at 434 Park Avenue in Huntington.



Featuring Family-Fun Activities including:

Sheep Shearing

Farm Animals

Old Fashioned Games

Baking in the Beehive Oven

Spinning Wool Demonstration

Embroidery, Crocheting and Weaving Demonstrations

Old Fashioned Wooden Toy Demonstration


Face Painting

Maypole Dance Celebration

Traditional Live Music

Kissam House Museum Tours

Tours & Costume exhibits in the Kissam House

Bargains in the Barn and at the 99 cent table

Antiques & Collectibles for sale in The Museum Shop

See more information about past and upcoming Sheep To Shawl Events at the bottom of this page


Held in May, from 12 to 4 pm.  It is free to the public and a great way to introduce spring, seasonal living, clothing production and traditional crafts to both children and adults.  The Sheep to Shawl Festival is a fun and fascinating look at colonial life – featuring real sheep shearing.  Demonstrators in colonial costume share their knowledge and assist visitors in carding, spinning, knitting and weaving – the processes from “sheep to shawl”.

Kids  love the traditional games, face painting, story telling, old fashioned crafts

girl and sheep
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The main highlights of the festival are the live sheep shearing demonstrations.  For early Americans, shearing a sheep was hard work.  Sheep could weigh anywhere from 150 to 300 pounds and a colonist who was shearing the sheep would have to wrestle the sheep to the ground and then hold it still while he cut off the fleece with a hand shearer, a simple tool that resembled a modern grass clipper.  The fleece needed to be cut close to the skin and the shearer had to work downward and outward so he could see where he was cutting next, thus ensuring that the fibers would be long for spinning into wool.   This process is extremely interesting to watch, and onlookers at the Festival come away with a renewed appreciation for the early colonists and their everyday chores and activities.

Many craft guilds on Long Island have representatives demonstrating their skills and assisting visitors in trying their hand at  spinning, quilt making, embroidery, lace making, basket weaving, knitting and crocheting.

Ernst 2005-05-01 145206Throughout the “Sheep to Shawl” event, docents will share the history of the 1795 Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House and Costumes from the Society’s extensive collection will be on display in room settings.  Adding to the festivities is traditional music, refreshments and souvenirs.  Not to be missed is the newly-renovated Museum Shop with its many treasures, collectibles and antiques.   Arsenal

Also the Huntington Arsenal, a revolutionary War-era building across the street form the Kissam property, will be open to tour.  The Arsenal is home to the Huntington Militia and features many historic artifacts.

The Sheep to Shawl Event is made possible with grants from  The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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See more information about the upcoming and previous Sheep To Shawl events