DENVER – If you’re an alpaca enthusiast, mark your calendar because the 2017 National Alpaca Show is coming to Denver!
Held at a new location nearly every year, the Alpaca Owners Association Inc. (AOA) National Alpaca Show will be held at the National Western Complex this year.
From March 17 to March 19, hundreds of alpaca lovers and fiber artists from across the country will have the chance to learn more about the growing North American alpaca industry.
Better yet? The event is free.
At the show, you will have a chance to get to know more about alpacas from North American breeders, as well as see the latest in alpaca fashion and get to see some of the hand-crafted items that can be created using their fleece.
That’s not all, though – you’ll also get the chance to meet the alpacas face-to-face. And yes, that means you can take selfies with the alpacas at a designated alpaca selfie booth, which will also be free.
The event will also feature alpacas competing in a ring competition, as well as classes judging conformation and fleece quality in many categories for both Suri and Huacaya alpacas, according to organizers.
Alpacas are cousins to the llama and are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Today, the United States boasts two types of alpacas. Although almost physically identical, the two types of alpacas are distinguished by their fleece. The huacaya is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the suri is more rare and has fleece that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.
Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors.
Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.
Alpacas are shorn without harm every twelve to eighteen months. Each alpaca can produce five to ten pounds of fleece.