Merriwa Rosto Festival of the Fleeces returns to the Upper Hunter on June long weekend

It's 'baaa-ck' on again

IT'S the event, which promises a "woolly" good time for everyone.

The Merriwa Rosto Festival of the Fleeces is back for the long weekend, from June 7 to 9, with the theme "Woolstock".

Visitors to the 29th Festival of the Fleeces will be greeted by 10m high sheep frolicking in a golden field, part of an amazing public artwork recently painted on the Graincorp silos at Merriwa.

Then at noon on Saturday, June 8, see a flock of sheep - in red socks - run down the main street of the Upper Hunter town leading a colourful, community parade celebrating all that is wonderful about wool and small country life.

It all kicks off from 8am with street markets, Kids' Corner, the dog high jump, sheep shearing, working sheep dog display, wood carving, vintage vehicles and machines, City of Maitland Pipes and Drums, and food stalls including real damper and billy tea, and CWA cakes, soups and slice.

There's lots of entertainment for all ages including helicopter rides at Oval 2.

After 3pm on Saturday, the action moves to the Merriwa Showground with team penning, gum boot throwing and other games finishing with the 6pm Kaboom fireworks.

Other great attractions over the weekend include the Hanging of the Quilts at Merriwa School of Arts, and team penning at the showground.

Sunday morning features the Bush Poets Breakfast at the CWA Hall with guest judge, the talented Carol Heuchan.

Hear aspiring and experienced bush poets perform for applause and a $500 prize pool.

Entry is $5 with hearty breakfasts available for purchase.

Also on Sunday, the Holy Trinity Church hosts a "blessing of the fleece" service followed by morning tea.

If you are interested in having a stall, showing off your wheels, entering Saturday's Grand Parade or the Bush Poets competition, or just coming along, all the information on camping, sponsorship, competitions and the program are available at or from the Merriwa Visitor Information Centre (VIC) by emailing or phoning 6521 7046.

Get in early to book your ticket for the opening night family music show on Friday, June 7, where popular local duo The Oh's will perform.

Tickets are $20 an adult and $10 a child.