Yesterday, I drove about 40 miles north of Milwaukee to the Washington County Fairgrounds in West Bend to attend the 3rd annual Alpaca & Fiber Fest. A large number of breeders and vendors were on display from all over the Midwest. In addition to ones from Wisconsin, I saw many from Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan. The vendors had a wide variety of products to sell from Alpaca food and accessories to items made from alpaca wool including socks, hats, scarves and, cutest of all, stuffed animals.
I've always thought alpacas were incredibly cute, but other than that, I didn't know too much about them. Alpacas come in two breeds: Suri, which have more of aa matted look to their hair:
And the Huacaya, which have more, shall we say, fluffier hair:
I'm more partial to the Huacaya variety.
In addition to the alpacas and products on display, they also had an alpaca show, similar to a dog show, where breeders compete for ribbons. The show is divided up based on variety, age and gender.
The 3rd annual Alpaca & Fiber Fest was very fun and unique. I may have to go back up to West Bend this summer to attend the Washington County Fair, where I'm sure there will be a lot more interesting animals to see.