SHEEP and alpacas will flood into town as part of a biennial festival.

The Stow Cotswold Festival sees the district's famous sheep, often known as Cotswold Lions because of their long dreadlocks, strutting their stuff in Stow Square.

In 2015 the biennial event had a strong American theme marking its friendship link with US town Appomattox but this time it is returning to Stow's roots.

Festival chairman Dave Wiblin said: "We’re going back to basics to celebrate traditional Cotswold life, crafts and heritage.

“Our aim is to extol the virtues of Stow by giving visitors and residents an insight into what has made the town unique through its history and age-old rural skills."

Visitors will be able to pet sheep and then follow the journey from fleece to finished garments and gifts in St Edward’s Hall.

They will also be able to watch a video of sheep shearing as well as live demonstrations of carding and spinning to make the yarn.

Experts will be on hand to show off knitting, crocheting, felting and crewel work skills.

A one-off community embroidery, featuring Stow Stocks, sheep and trees, will give enthusiasts a chance to add their own stitches and sign an accompanying book.

The completed scene will be framed and publicly displayed in commemoration.

Hedge-laying, blacksmithing and dry stone walling demonstrations are also being given by experts.

Cotswold Falconry Centre will display birds of prey on Stocks Green with visitors able to handle an eagle, owl, hawk and falcon with free photo opportunities.

A 40 stall market will be open from 11am until 6pm and children can enjoy games, a treasure hunt and face painting.

The festival is fundraising for local causes Kate’s Home Nursing, Great Western Air Ambulance and Stow Primary School.

This year's festival takes place on Saturday July 15 from 11am until 11pm in The Square.