LONG BEACH – Scottish Festival Feb. 19 -20, 2011
Sheep herding demonstrations at the Scottish Festival in Long Beach show how highly trained sheepdogs steer flocks valuable in agriculture for their wool, milk and sometimes their meat. With enough training a sheep often can learn a name and respond to it. The woolly animals are considered on par with cattle in IQ.
The first Scottish sheepdog trial contest was believed to be held in 1874 and such trials have been held ever since in Scotland, New Zealand and other countries around the globe. Sheepdogs are utilized to exploit the behavior that most sheep display — a tendency to congregate close to other members of a flock. Sheepdogs can keep large flocks of sheep together in open spaces such as unfenced pastures and move them along. Sheep have been used as grazing animals to keep grass from growing too high, and then the must be steered back to their home and pens where water supplies and additional feed exists. At the Scottish Festival there are sheep herding demonstrations several times each day, and the rest of the time kids & adults can pet sheep in their pens.
The Scottish Festival entertains all ages with demonstrations, outdoor athletic games, marching drill units, colorful costumes, and festivities throughout the weekend. For adults there are dart tournaments with cash prizes, beverage tastings, and much more. Highlights of this festive event held annually on the grass lawns overlooking the Long Beach Harbor include bagpipes,traditional Scottish games and events on and off the ship (built in Scotland) and a special Men of Worth concert. Time: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost: $18 / day; $24 / 2 day pass. Men of Worth Concert: $15; Malt Whiskey Tasting $25; Tasting & Dinner $65. queenmary.com