Alpacas Delight Crowds at San Diego County Fair!

San Diego County Fair features a wide array of attractions, but this year, one booth, in particular, has captivated the hearts of fairgoers: the alpaca exhibit. This delightful display, hosted by Dave and Barbara Davies, owners of A Simpler Time Alpacas & Mill, has become a must-visit spot for attendees.

The Davies’ journey with alpacas began without any prior knowledge of these gentle creatures. Now, they own 47 alpacas, which they care for at their farm in the hills of El Cajon. Each year, they shear the alpacas and use a fiber mill to process the fur into yarn, which is then crafted into various products. At the fair, visitors can find an assortment of alpaca merchandise, including backpacks, hats, slippers, stuffed animals, gloves, and, most notably, sweaters.

The allure of the alpacas is undeniable. “Look at those faces,” one visitor exclaimed, capturing the sentiment of many. The animals’ fluffy, endearing appearance draws people in, and the softness of their fur keeps them engaged. A young boy, choosing the alpacas over a rollercoaster, stated, “They are really fluffy.”

A significant part of the alpaca booth’s appeal is the opportunity to feel the difference between alpaca fiber and traditional sheep’s wool. Visitors are encouraged to touch sample boxes, comparing the itchy texture of sheep’s wool to the velvety softness of alpaca fiber. This hands-on experience often surprises and delights attendees. One visitor, after feeling an alpaca sweater, remarked, “This one is very, very soft.”

The unique properties of alpaca wool are highlighted throughout the exhibit. Unlike sheep’s wool, alpaca wool is breathable, lightweight, and non-irritating, making it comfortable to wear even in warm weather. This was evidenced by a visitor purchasing an alpaca sweater on a 75-degree day who praised its breathability and comfort.

While most people describe alpacas as kind and docile, there are occasional incidents that reveal a different side. The reporter, who had previously been spit on by an alpaca during a past visit, recounted the experience humorously. “Did you see the segment when the alpaca tuned me up with saliva?” he asked fairgoers. Although a few shared similar experiences, Barbara Davies suggested that perhaps these incidents involved llamas, which are often confused with alpacas.

Alpacas Delight Crowds at San Diego County Fair!

Determined to mend his relationship with the alpacas, the reporter ventured into their pen at the fair. Initially met with indifference, he gradually gained the animals’ trust. This culminated in a moment of reconciliation, marked by a kiss from one of the alpacas. “I call that a redemption,” he declared, satisfied with the outcome.

Beyond the fair, the Davies invite visitors to their farm in El Cajon to learn more about these fascinating animals and the process of turning their fur into high-quality yarn. Their dedication to the alpacas and the craft of fiber processing is evident in the quality of their products and the joy they bring to fairgoers.

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The alpaca exhibit at the San Diego County Fair not only showcases the charm and appeal of these animals but also educates the public on the benefits of alpaca wool. It’s a unique blend of fun, education, and tactile experience that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. As the fair continues, the alpacas remain a standout attraction, drawing crowds and creating lasting memories for attendees of all ages.

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