Caro­line farm hosts 10th al­paca fes­ti­val

Times-Record - - NEWS - By KAYLA RI­VAS kri­vas@star­dem.com

PRE­STON — Out­stand­ing Dreams Farm of Pre­ston hosted its 10th an­nual Al­paca Fes­ti­val on Satur­day, Sept. 29, and Sun­day, Sept. 30.

The event was free and fea­tured 35 soft and fluffy al­pacas, 15-20 ven­dors, and fun ac­tiv­i­ties for kids in­clud­ing slides, a moon bounce, pony rides, gi­ant check­ers, mag­netic darts, fris­bee and more. Fam­ily band Sil­hou­ette Song of­fered live mu­sic.

New for this year, the Of­fi­cial “Paca” Train, toured small chil­dren around the farm on train rides, of­ten at­tract­ing the rather cu­ri­ous al­pacas nearby.

“Last year we had al­most 1,600 peo­ple in two days,” said Phil Liske who owns Out­stand­ing Dreams Farm with his wife Vickie. “The fes­ti­val has steadily grown, with 150 peo­ple in at­ten­dance the first year.”

The Farm Store fea­tured spe­cials and dis­counts on al­paca fiber mer­chan­dise, in­clud­ing ap­parel, out­er­wear, hats, wo­ven rugs, blan­kets and more.

Speak­ing to the al­pacas’ be­hav­ior, Liske said they are gen­tle, well be­haved, in­quis­i­tive and friendly. He ad­vises all vis­i­tors to pet the an­i­mals’ necks, and not their heads.

“You’re meet­ing peo­ple at their best,” he said, speak­ing to the perks of own­ing an al­paca farm and of­fer­ing tours. “It’s some­thing I’ve come to look for­ward to.”

The farm of­fers tours all year round by ap­point­ment, in­clud­ing tours to school and day care groups, se­nior cen­ters, fam­i­lies, and to those in­ter­ested in buy­ing al­pacas.

Sev­eral al­pacas were ex­pect­ing ba­bies be­fore the fes­ti­val, with one al­paca born just one day prior. With that, Liske cau­tioned against in­ter­act­ing with the preg­nant an­i­mals, as they gen­er­ally do not like to be both­ered.

One of the new al­pacas from Septem­ber was named “Flo” be­cause she was born the Mon­day af­ter Hur­ri­cane Florence.

“We hope our vis­i­tors have a good time,” Liske said prior to the fes­ti­val. “That’s what it’s all about, and to learn about al­pacas.”

Out­stand­ing Dreams Farm of Pre­ston hosted its Tenth An­nual Al­paca Fes­ti­val last week­end. The event com­prised of 35 fluffy al­pacas, ven­dors, games and more.

PHO­TOS BY KAYLA RI­VAS

Out­stand­ing Dreams Farm of Pre­ston hosted its 10th An­nual Al­paca Fes­ti­val last week­end. The event com­prised of 35 fluffy al­pacas, ven­dors, games and more.

Dur­ing the fes­ti­val, al­pacas sought refuge un­der this shady tree.

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