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Sleepy Hollow Enjoys Sheep-Shearing Fun

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. — Dozens of curious history buffs took a trip back in time Saturday to a day when log cabins and looms were the standard, instead of iPads and cellphones.

Visitors young and old turned out for the first day of Philipsburg Manor’s Sheep-to-Shawl festival, where they saw what life was like on an 18th century farm.

Dressed in 1750s colonial clothing, farmers and shepherds gave the group lessons on everything from corralling the sheep with border collies to shearing sheep's wool. Afterward, visitors learned about dyeing, spinning and weaving wool into a finished product.

“I love it,” said Ravit Avramvitz of Manhattan, watching her two daughters learn how to spin wool on a loom. “This is really interesting. I wouldn’t think there is so much work that is put into it.”

The annual event has become a popular draw over the years, and this year expanded over two weekends, beginning Saturday and Sunday and continuing April 21-22.

In the real-life museum and a petting zoo, children saw sheep, cows and goats up-close, many for the first time. And they learned how much work went into making a wool sweater before electric sewing machines became the norm.

History buff Greg Welch brought his two sons to Sleepy Hollow for the daylong event, hoping for a chance to get outdoors and learn a little about Westchester County history.

“This is a fun thing to do for kids and adults,” the White Plains dad said as his 3-year-old son, Ciaran, rolled a wooden hoop through the grass in a centuries-old game.

New Jersey mom Michelle Rossi agreed. She said her kids had learned about alpaca-shearing in school, but since alpaca farms are few and far between, she figured sheep-shearing was the next best thing.

“It’s educational and fun,” she said.

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