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Thistledown Heather Nikos - Blue Ribbon in her first halter class at the Level IV CABO Show in 2010, second in the MAPACA 2010 and PAOBA 2010 fleece shows, Reserve Champion at the 2010 Blue Ridge Classic and first in halter at the 2011 VAOBA Expo.

Spring 2010 Event Calendar:

CABO Alpaca Show, Concord NC - February 13-14, 2010. Heather won a first place in her first ever juvenile halter class at this Level IV show, and Raspberry won first place in a large spin-off competition, with Meli placing third in the same class. We also brought needle-felting kits and yarn to this show, held over the Valentine's Day weekend. We were just beginning to see the grass again in VA after three major snowstorms, then drove right into another blizzard in NC, which made our alpacas look at us a bit sideways!

16th Annual Virginia Classic, Lexington, VA - March 13-14, 2010. 
Meri won a blue ribbon in halter at this Level III show and the judge raved about the density and uniformity of his fiber. There was no Championship class, but Meri went on to win second of eight in the breeder's best bred-and-owned male class, beaten only by the white Champion at this event (who went on to win Judge's Choice of all the Champion males at MAPACA this year)! Heather won a second place in the Walking Fleece Fiber Futurity, judged by Cathy Songer, and our daughters won numerous performance ribbons with their alpacas, and our vet's llama, including first place costume and Reserve Champion Intermediate Youth.

Now that's a llama (not an alpaca!) at the 2010 Virginia Classic
April Shearing Tour:  April 1 - April 22, 2010. This year we organized shearing for around 1200 alpacas at 38 farms in Virginia. This is the ninth year we have scheduled the shearing route  in this area. If you need help with shearing in 2011, please email us ASAP, preferably before Thanksgiving 2011. Thanks!

14th Annual MAPACA Jubilee, Harrisburg, PA - April 22-25, 2010.
At the largest alpaca show in the US, our alpacas won a first out of eight (Lavender) and a second out of 8 (Raspberry) out of 190 entries in the SpinOff. Raspberry was beaten only by the highest scoring dark alpaca in the entire competition (which was not a true black)! Meriadoc and Heather both placed second in their classes in the fleece show. For more information about this huge alpaca event, visit www.mapaca.org and don't forget to check out those cute little girls in hula skirts on the "Past Results" Show page!

37th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, West Friendship, MD - May 1-2, 2010. We enjoy exhibiting at the Maryland fiber festival every year, offering our colored french angora rabbits for sale, and selling natural fiber yarns, rovings and craft kits made from our own fiber animals. For more information about the largest fiber festival in the U.S., please visit www.sheepandwool.org 

PAOBA Breeder's Showcase, York, PA - May 8-9, 2010. We attended PAOBA as a vendor again this year, and if you were there, you may have met our eldest daughter helping out with the shearing throughout the weekend. Meri and Heather both placed second in their color class in the fleece show, with Heather scoring only 1/2 a point less than the grey Reserve Champion! For more information, visit www.paoba.org.

Here's one of our french angora fiber rabbits at the MD Sheep and Wool 2010. Thanks to Shelly for this photo!


Virginia Renaissance Faire, Lake Anna Winery, Spotsylvania, VA - May 29-30 and June 5-6. The RenFaire takes place every weekend from May 15 - June 12, 2010. We brought four of our alpacas along over the Memorial Day and Pirate weekends, plus alpaca yarn, socks, roving and craft kits for sale. Our "long-necked sheep that fell off the back of a Spanish galleon" are a very popular attraction, and we enjoy meeting all the patrons at the Faire. Come and meet the dedicated cast and crew at this wonderful family event - learn to dance around the maypole, make Elizabethan rag dolls, stamp leather bookmarks and bracelets, try your hand at archery, enjoy wandering minstrels, acrobats, magicians, theatre productions and the progress of the queen and her court, dressed in magnificent period costumes. Visit http://www.varf.org to learn more about this unique Virginia event.

Blue Ridge Classic Llama and Alpaca Show, Lower Sherwood Farm, Charlottesville, VA - June 19, 2010. This was our first time attending this event and we had such a good time, we hope to add this to our regular show calendar. Along with alpaca halter and fleece classes, this show offers the opportunity to see llamas and alpacas being shown together in performance classes, at a wonderful local venue, in a relaxed and sociable environment. Our eldest daughter won Reserve Champion Senior/Intermediate Youth, showing our alpaca Meri, against llamas. If you have ever seen calm, well-trained, majestic llamas in performance classes, then you understand what an amazing feat it is for an alpaca to place over llamas. Meri also won first place in a large composite class (judged 50% on conformation, 50% fleece), while Heather won Reserve Champion Mixed female, and our black Tundra son, Excalibur, won Champion Dark Male. Meri and our youngest daughter also won first in a large Junior obstacle class, competing with llamas and alpacas.

Pirates at the Virginia Renaissance Faire

5th Annual VAOBA Expo, Lexington, VA - October 16-18, 2010.
For more information about the largest alpaca show in Virginia, please visit www.vaobaexpo.com.

23rd Annual Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia, Montpelier, VA - October 2-3, 2010. Here's hoping for another perfect weekend at the Virginia Fiber Festival - last year was sunny and mild with a gentle breeze. We look forward to seeing many of you again. We plan to bring along some beautiful young male alpacas for sale  ($500 each, two for $800 or three for $1,000 - this price does not include their ARI papers) plus a selection of our natural fiber products, all grown and processed entirely here in the U.S. For more information about this event, please visit www.fallfiberfestival.org

National Alpaca Farm Day at the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow, (next to King's Dominion), Doswell, Virginia: 
Saturday 25 - Sunday 26, September, 2010
10.00 a.m. - 8.00 p.m. both days!

We look forward to spending the whole weekend celebrating National Alpaca Farm Day at the State Fair of Virginia at the Meadow in Doswell, VA this year. We'll be bringing alpacas and samples from our fiber store, and also hope to demonstrate some of the performance and showmanship skills our children and alpacas have learned together. Experience the luxury of natural alpaca fiber and purchase craft kits, socks, yarn and rovings, all made from fiber grown and processed right here in the U.S. 

4th Annual Thistledown Alpacas "Champion Production Sale" - begins October 31, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010. Announcing our 2010 Champion Production Sale Pricing! Every alpaca offered is a Champion, or the offspring of a Champion, or a Champion producer. This sale runs from October 15 -> November 30, 2010. Don't miss this opportunity to add quality colored genetics to your herd - they won't last long at these prices! We are celebrating our 10th year as full-time alpaca breeders in 2010. Check out our "Sales" page today to see the alpacas available this year. We have a selection of fiber males available as well as show-quality colored alpacas for your breeding herd. Scroll through our "Sold" page, if you can bear to see what you missed! Thanks so much to all our customers - we truly appreciate your confidence in our breeding program over the past 10 years and remain committed to breeding quality, colored alpacas for the future. 

4th Annual Thistledown Alpacas Open House & Sale, Manakin Sabot, VA:
Saturday 6 November, 2010 - 12.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Sunday 7, November, 2010  - 12.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m.

Rain Date: Saturday 13-Sunday 14 November, 2010 (same times)

Come visit our 4th Annual Open House to get "up close and personal" with our beautiful, friendly alpacas here on the farm. Take advantage of this great opportunity to make an early start on your Christmas shopping - we offer craft kits, socks, yarn and roving made from our own alpacas, which make unique and environmentally- friendly gifts, each for under $20! We may have a couple of young males available as fiber animals, without their ARI registration papers, plus we offer show-quality colored alpacas for your breeding herd. As always, you are welcome to call and arrange a personal farm visit at any time to learn more about alpacas. NO DOGS PLEASE. They scare the alpacas, plus we have working Great Pyrenees livestock guard dogs, who live with and protect our alpacas 24X7 and do NOT welcome other dogs! We enjoyed welcoming the Daisy, Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts of Goochland from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday 7, November.