North American Alpaca Show (West Springfield, MA)

Dates of Event: March 31-April 2, 2017 (photos taken April 1)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, Mallory Building, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA (2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Cost: Free

Parking: ample parking is provided, free of charge, at the rear and side of the Mallory Building

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Alpacas, Alpaca shows, products made from Alpaca fleece

Web Site: North American Alpaca Show

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Known for their seemingly ever present signature smile and calm demeanor, alpacas are one of the more popular animals in the New England area.  Alpaca farms have been springing up more and more in the Northeast area.  In fact, the New England Alpacas Owners and Breeders Association (NEAOBA) lists 85 breeders in the New England and New York area.  Many of these breeders and owners met last weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.  The owners and breeders came as far away as Phoenix, New York and parts of Maine and Vermont.

Besides being absolutely adorable and generally calm animals, alpacas are said to be very smart animals.  They often tend to pack together, you know like you expect from alpackas.  Okay enough word play.  For now.  As you can see from the photos below, they do like to be close to each other.

But, I did manage to get a few Alpacas on their own to photograph which was hard to do since they were all packed in there together (I told you I wasn’t done with my word play).  There are so many different colors and sizes.  Fun facts: the average alpaca can grow to be 150 to 175 pounds!  They also have a life span of 15-20 years and can grow to be as tall 3 feet at the shoulders and 4.5 feet tall by the head.

I also liked this “Alpaca photo bomb”

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Alpacas are shown and judged (they all received ribbons from to last place) and they are generally calm while they are being shown, except when their personal space is encroached.  But, overall they were very graceful.

Some of the alpacas appeared to mouth the metal fencing of their pens.  This is not uncommon.  In fact, one owner said he keeps baby teething rings for his alpacas and they enjoy using them.

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Most of the alpacas were very friendly, albeit a little guarded.  But, once they warm up to you, they were very social.  In fact, they seemed to pose for me.  That is what I noticed most about them.  They seem to have a lot of personality.

There were also several people selling many products made from alpaca fleece.  They sold a variety of products made from  alpaca fleece.  They were even selling alpacas made from alpacas (fleece). Being an animal lover, I inquired about the shearing process and I was informed that it is a simple, quick process that does not hurt the animals.

One of the cool things about these cuties is how they communicate to each other in a variety of ways such as through posture, the movement of their tails and some of them even make a noise the owners and breeders call “humming”.

About New England Nomad

Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog. I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog. Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts. I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much. I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well. The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things. Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England! View all posts by New England Nomad

21 responses to “North American Alpaca Show (West Springfield, MA)

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