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Head to Illinois for the 2018 National Alpaca Show

More than 800 alpacas will travel to Peoria, Illinois this year. 

After a year of traveling to regional shows and competitions held by the Alpaca Owners Association, alpacas around the country will gather in Peoria, Illinois for the national championship, Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) National Alpaca Show. The Peoria Civic Center will be packed full of the soft, docile creatures to vie for Best in Show. 

The show will take place Friday, March 23, 2018 and Saturday, March 24, 2018; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Peoria Civic Center; both days are free admission. It's the first time the championship has been held in Peoria, so mark your calendars! Last year the show was held in Denver, Colorado.

Alpacas look like llamas but don't be mistaken, they are a different member of the camelid group. 165 alpaca farms from around the country bring their male and female animals to the national championship. The two breeds of alpaca in the competition are the Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca.

Meet some alpacas, including Zena and Eye of the Storm, who live at Fun in the Country farm run by Kim Les. They traveled to Illinois all the way from Michigan!

Not only will the alpacas be shown around the hall in their respective groups for the ring competition, but there will also be obstacle courses, alpaca costume contests, and booths where alpaca enthusiasts can meet the farmers and take selfies with the cute alpacas in the alpaca selfie booth.

They spit like camels and llamas, be forewarned.

Public Relations Representative Cindy Berman Morrow told PJ Star that the event is designed to be family friendly, and even though alpacas may be naughty, they generally "like children and are very gentle creatures."
Alpacas are bred at farms around the country for their uber soft fleece and alpaca fiber. There will be vendors at the show with products ranging from hats, scarves, mittens, sweaters and socks. There are 17 official colors of alpaca fleece. And farmers raising alpacas can attest to their easygoing and docile natures. 

"Most people get into the alpaca business because it's a whole family affair," Morrow said.

"They're one of the best animals to be around."

Follow along on the alpaca show tour on social media on their Facebook page, and Twitter.

Do you want to go to the National Alpaca Show? What experience do you have in the alpaca industry? Tell us in the comments below. 

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