Merriwa ready for its 29th annual signature event Festival of the Fleeces - and ever-popular Running of the Sheep

ROSIE RED: Angela Wright is looking forward to seeing mascot Rosie lead the charge at the Festival of the Fleeces 'running of the sheep'.
ROSIE RED: Angela Wright is looking forward to seeing mascot Rosie lead the charge at the Festival of the Fleeces 'running of the sheep'.

PREPARATIONS are done and dusted for the 2019 Festival of the Fleeces at Merriwa.

A mammoth crowd is expected to witness the one-of-a-kind celebration, which is in its 29th year, in the Upper Hunter town from June 7 to 9.

All round entertainment will be provided, with a jumping castle and games for kids, vintage vehicle displays, CWA (Country Women's Association) morning tea and lunch, a dog high jump competition and many other fun activities for the family to enjoy.

However, the real significance of the festival is its agricultural theme, as the town shows off its incredible, hard-working character.

Committee president and Upper Hunter Shire councillor Ron Campbell said that was the real drawcard, with the yearly "Running of the Sheep", which are all fitted in red socks, being the main highlight.

"It's something we're very proud of, that we can showcase things that happen here in the country and take it to the city people," he said.

"And, we're very pleased that the city people are very happy to come and join us on that day, and see what's happening with the great events that are really for agriculture and promoting agriculture in the district."

It's certainly not the time to get stage fright, as tourism and events coordinator Peta Luke revealed how many visitors attend the event per year.

"It's hugely busy, it's a great opportunity for the town to showcase what they've got in the area, all of our accommodation throughout all of the industries are completely booked out," she said.

"We bring about 5000 to 6000 people into town, which is a great opportunity for them to see the town because some of them will stay here for up to a week."

For a community of approximately just 2000 people, it's a truly special effort to present an attraction with as big of a scale as Festival of the Fleeces.

Groups from all across Merriwa get involved and will this year help contribute to the Woolstock theme which will see a rush of bright, psychedelic colours pop up around the area.

It's come an astonishingly long way since its inception in 1990, and founder of the event and former mayor Pam Power would no doubt be thrilled with how it's developed.

The free event will begin with the opening at 6pm on Friday, and then proceed at 8am on both days over the weekend.