Cedar City community celebrates annual sheep parade

Hundreds of sheep came bustling down Cedar City’s Main Street the morning of Saturday, Oct. 28, during the town’s annual sheep parade. The sheep parade was just one of several events held during last weekend’s Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival. 

The sheep parade has been a beloved tradition for years. Sheep herds used to cut through the middle of Main Street as they migrated from the mountains into the winter pastures of the valley. Nowadays, Cedar City celebrates the movement of the sheep with a parade.

“It’s grown a lot,” said Tiffany Matthews, a Cedar City resident who has attended the parade for years. “It used to be a few tractors and the sheep.”

The parade now includes far more than just sheep. Many four-legged and four-wheeled attractions were spotlighted Saturday morning, including cattle, dogs, mules, miniature horses, vintage cars and tractors. Additionally, there were floats representing local businesses and clubs as well as a farmer’s market just around the corner. The yearly event has grown to highlight the many different aspects of agriculture around Cedar City.

“I just love that it is a true representation of our history here in Cedar City,” said Matthews. 

When Cedar City was first settled, agriculture was the main driver of economic growth. Even as the town began to develop, much of its growth was supported by its agricultural economy —including the founding of its college. Cedar City and Southern Utah University would not be where they are today without agriculture and livestock. The sheep parade is just one way the town honors that legacy. 

After the parade, many of the tractors and shepard’s wagons that took part in the trek were displayed at the Cross Hollow Event Center. For more information on the festival weekend, visit the Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival website.

Author: Heather Turner
Photo: Courtesy of Cedar Livestock & Heritage
Editor: Nick Stein