Festival’s new Fleece of Life in 2021

Due to the constantly changing nature of the pandemic the Festival of the Fleeces organising committee have unanimously agreed that the event, as it has traditionally been delivered for 29 years, cannot be held in a manner that is safe and economically viable in 2021.

The Festival of the Fleeces is adapting and the committee has gotten ‘COVID-creative’ for 2021. Designed to embrace and capture the same community enthusiasm and spirit that this event is known for, the hybrid version will be experienced through a mix of activities. There will be a showcase of Merriwa from the main street, to the storefronts, to the footpaths, and to front yards. Visual displays and tributes to the history of the festival will lead up to a festival first – an online digital display that brings together two icons of the town – silo art and the traditional running of the sheep.

“We are looking forward to presenting a scaled down digitalised event that still captures the great spirit of the festival of the fleeces. The committee acknowledges the support of the UHSC in running this signature event at Merriwa.” Cr Campbell said.

Upper Hunter General Manager Greg McDonald, was informed of the committee’s decision and understands the position taken. “it is the committee and the community that guides and leads the organisation of Festival of the Fleeces and I know they have the best interests of the event at heart.”

“The support Council has provided for the event in the past as part of the chartered agreement will continue this year and into the future.”

Mayor Collison said “I recognise the value of this festival to the Merriwa Community not just in financial terms but in bringing people together to celebrate all that is great in the Australian Wool Industry. I can understand residents may be disappointed that we are not yet able to return to ‘life as normal’ and have the festival as we want it in 2021, but we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and as such I respect the committee’s decision to scale down the event in 2021.”

“I encourage you to support the event in 2021, and look forward to attending the Festival of the Fleeces, in all its red sock and sheep glory in 2022.”


The 2022 Festival of the Fleeces programme will be available to download in the near future.

Details To Be Confirmed

ROSTO Festival of the Fleeces Opening Night – Friday Night 

More information to come soon.

Tickets can be purchased from the Merriwa Visitor Information Centre.


Details To Be Confirmed

Bush Poets Breakfast – Sunday Morning

Come along to the bush poets breakfast on Sunday morning. This walk up bush poets competition with a prize pool of $500! The breakfast with be MC by special guest and judge.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast while listening to the very entertaining bush poets for a wonderful Sunday morning experience.

Tickets are $5.00 each and will be available on the morning at the door. Plus $5.00 for breakfast.

Venue: CWA Hall, Bettington St. Time: 8am – 11am.


2021 Events include:

  • The famous running of the sheep in red socks
  • Fireworks
  • Wool Spinning Demonstrations
  • GJ’s Laser Tag
  • Modern Day Shearing Displays
  • Upper Hunter Motoring Vintage Vehicle Display
  • Blade Shearing Demonstrations
  • Merriwa’s hanging of the Quilts
  • Working Sheep Dog displays
  • Kids amusements
  • Dog High Jump
  • Team Penning Championships
  • Tug-a-War
  • Bush Poets Breakfast

2022 Key Info
When: First Long Weekend of June 2022 (subject to change)
Running of the sheep:
Saturday, 12 noon
Where: Golden Highway,  Merriwa & Merriwa Showground

Find Merriwa on Google Maps