By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Rock Valley Publishing
Santa’s elves experiment with training alpaca to pull Santa’s sleigh.

Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special visit to Alpaca Pines, Alpaca Pines, 21756 Beaverton Road, Poplar Grove, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12 for Christmas on the Farm. Guests were able to speak with Santa and watch elves pay with the alpaca.

The guests were allowed to visit the alpaca herd and encouraged to give them treats. They were also able to tour the fiber mill, visit the gift shop, and color pictures of alpaca while they were visiting.

The elves were portrayed by a couple of 4-H tweens who enjoy and work with the animals regularly.

“Alpaca are cute and fluffy,” said Kora Wick, age 12. “It’s easier if they are older. The young alpaca still do not know how to behave. Having worked with cows in the past, the experience helped a little bit for me to work with alpaca.”

“Alpaca Pines is the best place ever,” said Christopher Donley, age 12. “I’ve been working with alpaca for years and I love it.”

“We welcome back Santa and Mrs. Claus to Christmas on the Farm,” said Alpaca Pines owner Vicky Donley. “We are also doing a fundraising collection for CASA and another collection for Boone County Animal Services. We will take donations through the end of the year.

“The shop will be open through Dec. 23. It will reopen in January. People can still call 815-292-3222 for tours. Tours are $8 per person with ages four and under free.

“We are also looking for sponsors to assist with the alpaca show at the Boone County Fair to pay for a judge and the award ribbons. Potential sponsors can call 815-292-3222.

“New classes will be posted soon, including felting and spinning.

“Shop hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 2-6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

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