Chakra Announcements

9th Annual Llama Festival

by Caru das

Posted July 1, 2003

9th Annual Llama Festival a Premier Utah Valley Event:
Spanish Fork event draws thousands to see the pride of the Andes

When: Saturday, July 19, 4 pm
Where: KHQN Radio & Krishna temple, South Main, Spanish Fork
Contacts: Charu or Vai 798-3559/787-1510
Web Site: http://www.utahvalleyllamas.com

Spanish Fork--In their native Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, llamas carry heavy loads over terrain which is impassable to motorized vehicles. They are the trucks of the Andes.

In America, life is much easier where they have become popular for carrying camping gear on weekend hikes and day trips. Many have found a niche as sheep guards on the open range. Still others, like an RV purchased with good intentions but somehow never used, spend their lives simply munching grass and looking gorgeous and exotic to passers by.

The Llama Fest on July 19, now in its 9th year, was conceived as an opportunity to highlight Llamas and their owners in the most public way possible: in the overall cultural context of food, music, spinning and weaving demonstrations, music, dance, and competitions between the llamas and their handlers. "If an average attendance of 4,000-5,000 is a public enough event," says festival coordinator Chris Warden, " then we've been successful.

This is an event which offers more than many festivals. Other festivals have booths, exhibits, and some food. Above that, any festival that has good, live entertainment will definitely be successful: if over and above that, you have llamas, which everyone likes, and which are relatively safe for children, then you have really got something that nobody else can offer.'

We have 50 llamas ourselves at KHQN Radio/Utah Valley Llamas and we encourage other llamas owners from all over the state to bring their animals. It's a nice family outing where the kids will compete on the obstacle course and show ring with their llamas for ribbons, and the parents and grandparents will cheer them on."

The Llama Fest features a baby llama (cria) corral where the children can fraternize with their animal counterparts. There is a beautiful baby contest as well as a costumed event.

Continuous live music and dance on the outdoor stage will come from Los Hermanos de los Andes, Salsa Brava, Mambo Jumbo, and The Latin Dance Heritage. Richard Christensen has been to every Llama Fest since 1995. "Early on in the evening, it's nice to watch the llamas and their handlers. The llamas are well groomed, graceful, and gentle. It's watching living art to the background music of the Andes. Towards dusk the beat picks up and many of the younger folks, like myself, like to dance."

Food booths will offer such south of the border favorites as chili, nachos, emphanadas, braised vegetables with fried curd, bread pudding, spicy wraps, and lemon fruit drinks.

A good selection of Andean craft items like jewelry, rugs, shawls, carvings and clothing will be available on site.

There are still openings for volunteers to work for 1 1/2 hours before or during the festival in exchange for a Llama Fest T-shirt worth $12.00. Call or email us to schedule your slot. All other fees for admission and meals apply.

Bring the whole family for a fun and educational experience. Admission is $3.00 per person or $1.00/ children. Llama Fest IX is sponsored in part by a grant from the Utah Arts Council & The National Endowment for the Arts.

Visit our web site at http://www.utahvalleyllamas.com