Premiere alpaca event of the year to take place in Fort Wayne March 18-20
Fort Wayne, IN -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/04/2016 --Alpacas have coexisted with humankind for thousands of years. The Incan civilization of the Andes Mountains in Peru elevated the alpaca to a central place in their society. The imperial Incas clothed themselves in garments made from alpaca and many religious ceremonies involved the animal.
Alpacas are, however, relatively new to the United States when compared to other livestock. First commercially imported in 1984, there are now more than 230,000 registered alpacas in North America.
What better way to learn more about the growing North American alpaca industry than to talk to breeders from throughout North America and beyond, and meet hundreds of alpacas face-to-face in one location? Now you can. And it's FREE!
The Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) National Alpaca Show & Auction, which draws hundreds of alpaca enthusiasts and fiber artists from across the country, is held in a new geographic location nearly every year.
This year AOA selected the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne as its host city.
Friday, March 18 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Alpacas from across the country will also 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.
Dozens of vendors and farm displays will sell the latest alpaca fashions and hand-crafted items.
On Friday, March 18, the AOA National Alpaca Auction begins at 4:30 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.
For more information about the Alpaca Owners Association or the AOA National Show & Auction, visit http://www.alpacanationals.com.
About the Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.
The AOA Headquarters Office is located in Lincoln, Nebraska and serves as the national livestock association for alpacas in North America. As the largest alpaca association in the world with more than 10,000 members and 230,000 registered alpacas, AOA facilitates the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the tracking of bloodlines, registration and transfer of alpacas, genetic testing, national educational outreach, the national show system, alpaca and alpaca product marketing, public relations and its highly respected judges training program.
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals 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 (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the suri (SUR-ee) 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.
About Alpaca Fleece
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. Each alpaca can produce five to ten pounds of luxurious fleece. Long ago, this fleece was reserved for royalty. Today, it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists, while knitters buy it as yarn.
Because of its soft texture, alpaca fleece is sometimes compared to cashmere. The fleece also has the luster of silk, making it even more coveted. Alpaca is just as warm as wool, yet it is a mere 1/3 the weight. It comes in 22 natural colors and can be dyed any desired shade.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fleece 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 fleece 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.