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Now that the Derby and thoroughbreds have come and gone, Alpacas are deciding to take over Louisville! Karl Heinrich of Long Hollow Suri Alpacas in Gallatin, Tennessee will tell us about his animals and the event this weekend where you can learn more about these interesting animals.
THE ALPACAS ARE COMING BACK TO LOUISVILLE! National Show Returns to Kentucky
Millions have seen these unique, beautiful animals on TV and in print, but what better way to learn more about the alpaca industry than to talk to hundreds of breeders and meet over 1,000 alpacas face-to-face, all under one roof? Now you can. And it's FREE!
Alpacas and alpaca enthusiasts, as well as fiber art enthusiasts, gather from across the country for the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) National Alpaca Show. This year, the show will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky beginning Saturday, May 26th and continuing through Monday, May 28th.The event is planned in the West Hall, West Wing and Pavilion.
Admission is FREE and open to the public. Hours are:
Alpacas from across the country will be featured in the show ring competition. The show will be comprised of classes judging conformation and fleece quality in many categories for both Suri and Huacaya alpacas.
Artisans will showcase alpaca fiber and examples of felting, fiber arts, and more. Dozens of vendors and farm displays will sell the latest alpaca fashions and hand-crafted items.
On Saturday, an alpaca auction will begin at 1:00 p.m. and run until 6:00 p.m. Admission is free and a cash bar will be available. The National Auction is the premiere event of the year for the North American alpaca industry.
About Alpacas Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The United States first commercially imported alpacas in 1984. There are now over 170,000 ARI (Alpaca Registry, Inc.) registered alpacas in North America.
There are two types of alpacas in the United States today. Although almost physically identical, what distinguishes the two types of alpacas is their fiber. The Huacaya (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. The Suri (SUR-ee) is the rarer of the two and has fiber 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.
About Alpaca Fiber Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. They produced five to ten pounds of luxurious fiber. Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists. Knitters buy it as yarn.
Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Making the fiber even more coveted, it has the luster of silk. Alpaca is just as warm as, yet 1/3 the weight of wool. It comes in 22 natural colors, yet can be dyed any desired shade.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth. Additional performance characteristics include: stretch, water repellency, and odor reduction. For travelers, clothing made from alpaca is desirable because it is wrinkle-resistant.
About AOBA Headquartered in Nashville, TN, the Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association (AOBA) serves to facilitate the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the growth and development of the national herd and its products. Since AOBA's formation in 1988, its membership has grown steadily to more than 3,500 members.
For more information about alpacas or the AOBA National Alpaca Show, visit www.alpacainfo.com.