Families and friends came to a Tumalo alpaca farm Saturday to pet the fluffy animals and buy holiday gifts made from their fleece.
Snow Diamond Alpacas off Gerking Market Road held its Open Barn Holiday Weekend, and invited the public to meet the more than 200 alpacas on the property, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and shop in the farm’s Hayloft Boutique. The Open Barn Holiday Weekend continues Sunday and again next weekend.
Visitors also watched Catherine Cooley, a member of Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers, demonstrate how to spin fibers, and could enter a contest to pick the best name for a new baby alpaca at the farm.
Don Green, who owns Snow Diamond Alpacas with his wife, Sharon, and son, Austin, said the event is a good way to give people a tour of the farm and teach them about the alpacas.
“That education and exposure is why we have the open barn to invite people in,” he said. “And we like to give them some hot chocolate, cider and cookies, too.”
Joy McBride, a special education teacher at Bend High School, brought her 3-year-old niece, Lucia Braga, to the farm Saturday. The two visited the farm last holiday season, and Lucia was eager to return. She wore a sweater with alpaca designs and was thrilled each time she got to pet and feed the alpacas.
“The only thing that would make her happier is if there was a horse here, but she likes these guys, too,” McBride said.
Diane Jackson came to the farm Saturday with her son’s girlfriend, Lydia Hill. Jackson, of Bend, had visited the farm a couple weeks ago to look for gifts. At the time, Jackson met a friendly alpaca that ended up sitting on her foot.
Hill, who also lives in Bend, enjoys knitting with alpaca fiber and wanted to see these loving alpacas. She jokingly calls Jackson the Alpaca Whisperer because they kept coming up to her Saturday. And Jackson was loving the attention.
“We were feeding them, and they all came running over,” Jackson said. “It was hysterical.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7820, firstname.lastname@example.org