The Nobles County Fair kicks off with fairs, food – and 2 alpacas – The Globe

WORTHINGTON – Excitement and anticipation filled the Nobles County Fairgrounds on Wednesday as judges, competitors and workers raced their way, bringing animals to barns, tapes to fairs and equipment wherever they were needed.

In their pens, the pigs fell asleep, the goats wanted to chat, and the hens kept quiet, apart from the sometimes victorious crow of the rooster who wanted to prove his superiority.

The exhibition halls were also relatively quiet in the afternoon, when the judges had already swept away to decorate the work of both adults and young people with ribbons, whether it was a bench made from the tailgate of a truck, a lamp in the shape of a dream catcher or a lamp with love-a toy crocheted jellyfish.

Those looking for information or entertainment can check out billboard projects emblazoned with “My Adventures Around the Farm,” “Agronomist Day,” or “Cats,” and people who love gardening can check out other people’s work and try to estimate the height from the “tallest corn stalk” winner.

Although the Midway ride was still early Wednesday afternoon, Undeniably Dairy and Lakeside Travel Plaza were open serving desserts, snacks, and drinks to judges, competitors, birders and even a pup whose owner paused to make sure they were hydrated, too.

Throughout the day, the Olson Arena hosted the 4-H Dairy Show, 4-H Poultry Show and 4-H Sheep Show; Beef, goats, and rabbits are set on Thursday, pigs on Friday, and pets on Saturday.

Right after the rabbits and poultry, not far from the sheep and goats, there are two unusual creatures sitting in a larger barn and watching passersby.

They are the alpaca, opal, and ivory from Faith White, and they will compete at the Murray County Fair later this month, as Nobles County has no Llama-Alpaca Project show — yet.

Opals and ivory lounging in their pen at the Nobles County Fair on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
Carrie Lucien/The Globe

Faith, 19, just graduated from Heron Lake Okabina High School. She’s the daughter of Laurie and Doug White from the Fulda countryside, and she hopes bringing her alpacas to the Nobel County Fair will help spark some interest in the Llama-Alpaca project.

Faith had opals and ivory about three years ago, and they are 9 years old. Alpacas live about 15 or 20 years.

Although they are not quite as friendly as a sheepdog, they are still very social.

“They won’t spit on you or anything unless you’re mean to them,” Faith said, though she cautioned that one of them didn’t like being touched.

She added that part of the Llama-Alpaca project involves helping them desensitize to touch. They also have to go through an obstacle course.

But there’s a much weirder side to the llama-alpaca competition that packs the runways at the Murray County Fair: the costumes.

The first year, Faith brought the alpacas to a contest, not realizing that when she was said to be wearing costumes, this meant that she should be covered almost completely, even her hooves and legs, if possible.

“You shouldn’t be able to see the alpacas in there,” she explained.

A quick Google image search for a “costume contest” with a llama or an alpaca reveals a whole world of mystical creatures dressed as Disney characters, tacos, dinosaurs, Viking longships, bathtubs and bees.

“I really want to get more people to show up so everyone can see it,” Faith said, encouraging others to try the Llama-Alpaca project for themselves.

Faith has been a part of 4-H since the fourth grade, and her projects across Graham Lake Braves have included beef, goat, poultry, rabbit and dogs, which are her true favorites.

“That’s why I joined 4-H, and I just love it,” she said.

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