Sheep Dog Trials return to Grass Creek Park with admission by donation

The largest of its kind in North America, the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials are a competitive dog sport that sees herding dogs — usually border collies — move sheep around as directed by their handler. Photo via Kingston Sheep Dog Trials website.

The Kingston Sheep Dog Trials Festival returns to Grass Creek Park next month. This family and pet-friendly event is always a hit with residents and visitors alike.

“Plan to enjoy this unique rural, summer festival with family and friends. See border collies herd sheep in timed trials and take in our many great festival attractions at beautiful Grass Creek Park on the shores of the St. Lawrence,” said Emily Matpan, Assistant Supervisor of Special Events for the City of Kingston. “To welcome back the festival and its guests, all admission fees have been waived for 2023 and replaced with admission by donation. There are no tickets required for this family-friendly event.”

Presented by Subaru of Kingston, the sheep dog trials run daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023. According to a release from the City, festival attractions will be held over the course of the weekend and include a wide variety of activities and demonstrations, including:  

  • Dog Agility Shows with Absolute Agility: Three shows daily (times TBD)
  • Horse-Carriage Racing on the Trial Field: Saturday only, at the lunch break (Approx. 12 p.m.)
  • Sheep to Shawl demonstrations and Silent Auction – Demo timings TBD, the silent auction will take place on Sunday.
  • Kingston Sheep Dog Trials tent with run sheets and lots of merchandise options.
  • Market vendors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with various wares for both dogs and their owners.
  • Local food vendors with great eats and sweet treats.
  • Utilities Kingston water buggy – bring your refillable water bottle.
  • ATM on-site.
  • The beach and boat ramp will be open.
  • Lots of free parking on-site.
  • And much more!
Photo via Kingston Sheep Dog Trials website.

The City reminds festival-goers that if they plan to bring their dog along, please be sure to keep them on a leash while roaming the grounds, and don’t forget your sunscreen and refillable water bottle for the Utilities Kingston water buggy. 

Grass Creek Park is located at 2991 Highway 2, adjacent to the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum. Accessible parking, drop-off areas, and portable washrooms will be available, according to the City. Contact Emily Matpan at [email protected] with any questions regarding accessibility.

During the festival, Grass Creek Beach will be open, but the dog park will be closed to the public from August 7 until August 15.

Learn more about the festival on the Sheep Dog Trials website.

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