Willow’s Lamb Derby returns after pandemic hiatus

The 2022 Lamb Derby royalty poses for a photo after the pageant on Thursday in Willows. 

Although this year’s Lamb Derby was not as extravagant as year’s past, organizers said they were happy to see the event return after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The festivities kicked off last week with lost lamb clues daily at the Willows Hardware Store, which led participants on a scavenger hunt around town to find the missing ewe. 

According to organizers, the lost lamb was found between two power poles on Old Highway 99 at the end of Elm Street. 

On Thursday, several girls competed in the annual Lamb Derby scholarship pageant. Winners of this year’s pageant included Queen Kalli Sawyer, Eighth Grade Princess Bailey Lerstang, Eighth Grade 1st Runner Up Abigail Woodworth, Seventh Grade Princess Chloe Cox, Seventh Grade 1st Runner Up Emery Niblack, Little Miss Sophia Acevedo and Little Miss 1st Runner Up Brianna Bass. 

Saturday was when the main festivities took place with things like the annual Lamb Derby Parade; Wadding Beauty, Muscle Man and Diaper Derby competitions; local vendors and a small carnival. There was also a lamb barbeque, which is now the only event that actually features the animal, and an all-day softball tournament. 

Grand Marshal of this year’s Lamb Derby Parade was Chuck Staley. 

Organizers said Staley has been attending the Lamb Derby Parade since he moved to Willows in 1962 and he was very honored to accept the nomination of Grand Marshal this year.

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