During the second year of alpacas showing in Boone County (and the State of Illinois), Emily Johnson, handling Jelly the alpaca, won the Grand Prize.

By Anne Eickstadt


In 2017 the Boone County Fair made history by holding an alpaca show. That was the first time alpacas had been seen at a county fair in Illinois. That first show was an Open Show–it included both male and female alpaca as well as both breeds of alpaca–Suri with their long waving locks and Huacaya with their short, puffy, cotton-ball look. In 2020, they had hoped to expand the show and judge males and females, Huacaya and Suri separately. We’ll see what happens in 2021.

The alpacas are judged on formation, halter, showmanship, performance and costume. The obstacle course always brings great amusement, as the alpacas do not always want to obey their handlers and balk, back and obstinately walk around an obstacle. However, the costume contest is the real hit of the show when the alpaca and their handlers wear matching costumes.

“My son Christopher, age 12, is showing two alpaca, Jelly and Annie, at the fair. You do not have to own an alpaca to enter a show,” said Vicky Donley of Alpaca Pines in Poplar Grove. You can borrow an alpaca to show. The alpaca will be arriving at the fair on Wednesday so they can acclimate to be ready for the show on Sunday at 9 a.m.

“We have also added a fleece segment to the alpaca show. Contestants will bring in two ounces of fiber and the judge will determine its quality. Those who cannot make it to the fair can send in a sample of alpaca fiber and have it judged. A couple of kids from my 4-H Fiber Friendzy group will be showing alpaca. Some of them are making alpaca fiber projects for the 4-H projects barn.

“We are also adding an informational section to our alpaca tent to educate the public on these wonderful animals.”

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