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Experience Bellevue’s agricultural past at the Sheep Shearing event at Kelsey Creek Farm Park this Saturday. Only three sheep are among resident farm animals that roam the park’s pastures and barnyard only a few minutes away from downtown Bellevue, so they’ll be joined by 20 ovine friends visiting for spring shearing.

Sheep Shearing day includes wool-spinning and fiber-craft demonstrations, 4-H club animal exhibits, food vendors, pony rides, inflatables and other kids’ activities, NW Vintage Tractor Club tractor-pulled hayrides and trained dogs demonstrating their sheepherding skills.

“Last year we included sheep in both shearing and herding and ended up with some of them getting excited and a bit out of control. This year we’re keeping the herding and shearing sheep totally separate to avoid any running amok,” says Kelsey Creek Farm Park Manager AnnaMarie Solomonson, a longtime organizer of the popular annual event.

The park includes two historic barns built in the 1930s and ’40s as part of Twin Valley Farm dairy founded on the site in1921. Later owners raised cattle on the farm until it was surrounded by suburban development in the 1960s and they chose to sell it to the city at a much lower price than developers offered so that it could be preserved as a park. One of Bellevue’s oldest structures, the Frazier Cabin, built in 1888 by Bellevue pioneers, was relocated to Kelsey Creek Park in 1974 and hosts Eastside Heritage Center programs throughout the year, including at this Saturday’s event.

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Admission is free, with fees for some activities; in keeping with the farm’s step-back-in-time feel, only cash is accepted and there’s no ATM on site. Parking in the area is very limited and visitors are advised to use shuttle service available from parking at Wilburton Park & Ride and Bannerwood Sports Park.

Kelsey Creek Farm Park is open daily, with ponies, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs and rabbits available for viewing 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Along with the historic farm, the park’s 150 acres include forest, meadows and wetlands with 1.5- and .9-mile trails. Leashed dogs are permitted in the park but not in the barnyard area. Group tours, birthday parties and picnic-shelter rentals are available and registration is open for kids’ day camps and other summer programs.

Madeline McKenzie:

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