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Visit a Local Alpaca Farm and Fall in Love

National Alpaca Farm Days Sept. 27- 28

By Alicia Dziak

Ever wonder about alpacas? Why have they become so popular in recent years? Why are so many alpaca farms popping up? And why can’t people get enough of the super soft fiber they produce?

Well, now’s your chance to find out! National Alpaca Farm Days are this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28, and a lineup of incredible farms throughout the region are opening their doors to all for a weekend of education and fun!

This is your opportunity to feel alpaca fleece, tour local farms, experience live demonstrations, learn about raising and breeding alpacas, shop for alpaca products and support local farms.

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Celebrate National Alpaca Farm Days with a relaxing drive along the Alpaca Adventure Trail, winding through the region’s scenic hills and valleys. Be sure to check out the map on page 5 for exact locations.

BearKat Alpacas, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this weekend, is located at 4685 Route 98 in Humphrey. BearKat offers a gift shop with socks, scarves, blankets, slippers, gloves and more — and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, just ask — chances are they can special order it for you! For more information, visit www.bearkatalpacas.com.

VanDyke’s Alpaca Ranch is located at 5500 Howe Hill Road in Great Valley. This weekend, stop in either day between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.vandykesalpacaranch.com or call (716) 699-2425.

Sugartown Farms Alpacas is located at 6277 Sugartown Rd. in Ellicottville, and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend. This year, Sugartown had 13 cria (babies), so there will be lots of little ones to see! Their retails store offers sweaters, hats, gloves, teddy bears, and more. For more information, visit www.sugartownfarms.com.

A Slice of Heaven Alpacas and Simply Natural Alpaca Gift Shop are located at 11144 Pope Road in Randolph, boasting a variety of alpaca products, as well as alpacas for sale and sires for breeding. Drawings will take place on Sunday at 5 p.m. for a pair alpaca slippers, an alpaca bear and an alpaca blanket. Chili, cider, donuts and coffee will be available for sale, with all proceeds going to the Randolph Community Cupboard. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call (716) 358-5242.

Nearby is Mager Mountain Alpacas, located at 69 Mountain View Dr. in Little Valley. Stop in between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. this Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and browse the So SoftGift Shop, freshly stocked with items like sweaters, scarves, teddy bears and more. They have eight new alpaca babies of all colors for visitors to enjoy. You will also be treated to watching an alpaca obstacle course and meet Tony, the friendly alpaca! There will also be old-fashioned spinning demonstrations throughout the weekend. For more information, visit www.magermountainalpacas.com.

If you’re out and about on Saturday, be sure to check out the 10th annual WNY Fiber Festival at Emery Park’s Ski Lodge in South Wales. (To get there, take Route 16 north from Franklinville, then go left on Emery Road.) The Fiber Festival, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will offer demonstrations from local guilds including spinners, weavers, knitters, quilters, rug punching and lace makers. In addition, vendors will be on-site offering handmade, one-of-a-kind creations. It’s a great chance to get started on your holiday shopping or buy yourself something special! Admission is $5, free for children under 10. For more information, visit www.wnyfiberartsfestival.com.

Did you know that alpacas produce one of the world’s finest natural fibers, claimed to be as soft as cashmere and stronger than wool? Did you know alpaca fiber comes in a variety of colors? Did you know that alpacas weren’t introduced to the United States until 1984?

Learn all this and more during a fun-filled weekend along the Alpaca Adventure Trail.  Don’t miss the National Alpaca Farm Days this weekend!

For more information, visit www.nationalalpacafarmdays.com.

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