Young’s ‘Wool Gathering’ is this weekend

When someone says “ice cream,” my family’s thoughts and cars automatically head in the direction of Young’s Jersey Dairy, 6889 Springfield-Xenia Road in Yellow Springs.

Now the address says Yellow Springs, but that is for post office purposes. Young’s farm sits just above the line between Clark and Green counties. For the most part, Young’s is in Clark County.

Over the years we have enjoyed the restaurants, the cheese, the golf and the batting cages, in addition to the ice cream. But this coming weekend, there is yet another reason to go to Young’s.

Young’s will be the site of the 19th Annual Wool Gathering on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21.

Wool Gathering?

According to the dictionary, it can be either a collecting of creative ideas or just a collection of wool from sheep.

Since dairy cows do not have wool, how come there is a wool gathering at a dairy?

I called Dan Young, CEO and chief ice cream scooper, to find out how a dairy ended up with a wool gathering. He was unavailable, but I got my answer from his gracious wife, Cathy Young.

“The organization that has the wool gathering liked our facilities,” she said. “They knew we had space and plenty of parking.”

This Midwest Festival of Fibers event is all about wool and fiber from animals. And like the other definition of “wool gathering,” it is also a collection of creative ideas or uses of wool. The event has grown over the last 19 years to become one of the biggest observances of all things connected with wool in this area.

There will be demonstrations of sheep shearing and the step-by-step processing of wool. Visitors will be able to see how spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet are done. There will be rug makers and other fiber artists demonstrating and selling their wares in addition to other related items. Finished products, yarn and kits will be for sale.

More than 80 vendors will set up in the big tent behind the Dairy store. Some of the vendors are from Clark County. Many come from all over Ohio and seven other states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Virginia and New York.

A long list of the merchants is available on the website. Just click on the photo of the sheep. The website also has great directions, if you do not know how to get to the dairy. (You can thank me later for this.) Since sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats and rabbits will be on hand, the organizers ask that visitors leave their pets at home. According to Dan Young, the herding demonstration is always fun to watch.

“It’s a really neat show for those who don’t know about those wool bearing animals,” said Cathy Young. There is something for people of all ages to enjoy.

The fact that there is no admission charge also makes this event even more family friendly … that and the ice cream afterwards.

Hours for “A Wool Gathering” are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.