GRASSY CREEK — Alpaca farms across the U.S. and Canada will be opening doors for the public to meet alpacas during National Alpaca Farm Days on Sept. 28 and 29. Landmark Farm Alpacas is hosting its eighth annual open house and fundraiser for Happy Tails Rescue of West Jefferson.
Landmark Farm’s owners, Ralph and Rachelle Bridges, will welcome visitors to their farm from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 28 and 29, to meet the alpacas and learn about the inquisitive unique animals and the luxury fiber they produce. It will be fun and educational for all ages, according to a release from Landmark Farm, with demonstrations by fiber artists hand-processing raw fleece into finished accessories and handcrafted gifts.
Jennifer and Adrienne Ley, owners of Pendle Alpacas in Jefferson, are regulars at the West Jefferson Farmers Market and participants in the Ashe County Studio Tour. They sell their beautiful fiber crafts, made from their own alpacas and other locally-sourced fiber, at many regional festivals. Look for them to be carding and blending fleece into batts, as well as hand spinning yarn.
Nancy Weaver and daughter, Christy Hoffman, of Foxfire Holler Farm in Warrensville, have for years been familiar faces demonstrating their crafts at local and regional events. During the weekend they will be hand spinning and wet felting, Hoffman’s 12-year-old daughter, Chelsea Price, will be returning for her third year instructing hands-on weaving sessions.
Kathy Champagne, formerly of McGrady, will drive from Arkansas to knit with everyone once again for this year’s event. The event will also welcome two new fiber artists to the demo team: Mitzi Cook, an apparel designer and patternmaker from West Jefferson, will be crocheting toy animals; and Keshea Roland, owner of Keshea’s Kreations from Warrensville, will be demonstrating needle felting.
The farm store has a wide selection of gifts and products made from alpaca, including scarves, caps, gloves and socks, yarn made from the farm’s own alpacas, children’s toys and Teddy bears and calendars filled with the farm’s award-winning photos. The 2020 calendars have arrived just in time for the open house.
Raffle tickets for beautiful items made from alpaca are being sold between now and Sept. 27 at Happy Tails Pet Supplies, located at 431 E. Second Street, and at Landmark Farm, located at 1118 Landmark Church Road in Grassy Creek.
Tickets will also be sold all weekend at the open house. Drawings will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29. Winners do not need to be present to win. All proceeds from the raffle and 10 percent of all farm store sales will be donated to Happy Tails low-cost Spay/Neuter.
Happy Tails is a nonprofit dog rescue that gives High Country residents a place to bring dogs and puppies for re-homing, without fear of judgment. Happy Tails gives the animals age-appropriate vaccines, de-worming, socialization and has them spayed or neutered or provides a voucher for discounted spay/neuter. Stop by the Happy Tails table at the open house to find out about the dogs and pups available for adoption.
Admission for the two-day event is free. Optional donations to Happy Tails Rescue would be greatly appreciated, the release said. Handicapped parking will be available. The event will take place rain or shine. No dogs will be allowed on property, even in parked cars, as a livestock guardian dog is on duty.