Several weeks ago I was invited by Alan Clark, MAPACA president, to be part of the 2011 MAPACA Jubilee Celebration! It is my great pleasure to be able to attend as one of the hand-spinners that will be demonstrating how to prepare and spin the fleece of these wonderful creatures.
The Mapaca Jubilee runs from April 8-10 and is open to the public. There are all sorts of events for everyone! I am excited about going! The Jubilee will be held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex 2300 North Cameron Street Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Since I have never attended an alpaca show, I wanted to get an idea of what the MAPACA Jubilee is all about. I decided to ask Trish Tyler-Davis. Trish is wearing many hats these days, one of which is the Hospitality Coordinator for the MAPACA Jubilee. Although she is quite busy, she was generous with her time and answered all of my questions. She even agreed to let me share them with you here. Thanks Trish!
me: So, Trish...what IS MAPACA Jubilee all about?
Trish: MaPaca is a cooperative group of alpaca breeders in the Mid-Atlantic states. The Jubilee is held annually in the spring and includes mini-seminars, guest speakers, vendors, a fleece show, and of course many beautiful alpacas. They really are lot of fun!
me: And what is the focus of this years Jubilee?
Trish: This year marks the 15th Anniversary of this alpaca show which is one of the largest and most hightly respected alpaca shows in the United States. North American Alpaca Fiber is beautiful, and one of our goals for this show is to connect the producers of this wonderful fiber with the end users. We are striving to promote networking between the owners /breeders and the fiber community.
Check the website under Mundo “Fibra!” Here you will find all things related to alpaca fiber… the fleece show, spin-off display, fiber demonstrations, our first Fleece-to-Shawl competition, and the debut of the MaPaca Member Product Store. We’re increasing our focus on fiber with this year’s show, so you will find this feature at the public entrance to the Expo Hall. Since we are advertising heavily in fiber-related media, we expect to see a surge of fiber enthusiasts to see what we alpaca fiber producers have been up to.
me: Do you ever feature any special events or workshops?
Trish: Yes! You can visit the website and view the Schedule of Events which lists the time, date and location of our seminars and demonstrations.
We will have a book signing by Intarsia Knitter Peggy Gaffney...
and drop Spindle Spinning will be demonstrated by Sandy Roberts...
and of course, you will be demonstrating fiber prep and wheel spinning!
me: Well, what about the Alpacas? How many Alpacas come to the Jubilee?
Trish: This year we host over 800 beautiful registered Alpacas that will be there with their owners. These participants are interested in promoting their farms and their fiber, and they are some of the most outgoing, interesting and pleasent people to meet with. They are more than happy to talk with the public and answer whatever questions you might have about their animals and their fiber.
(I saved the most important question for last...)
me: So, will there be fiber available to purchase?
Trish: Absolutely! You can shop in the vendor village, and this year the Jubilee will feature our own MAPACA Member Product Store, where you will be able to purchase the home grown alpaca products in every stage of processing, from fleece to roving and batts to yarn and finished alpaca products...The MAPACA Member Product Store is really a wonderful showcase that demonstrate what is done with Alpaca fiber!
If you have any questions for Trish, you can email her firstname.lastname@example.org
So, I'd like to invite you to come and attend the Jubilee too! Please stop by and say hello, I'll be demonstrating how to prepare and spin Alpaca fiber from lock formation, to roving.... on the Antique Great Wheel as well as the more modern Ashford Traditional Wheel and even on my Russian Style Supported Spindle. My demonstrations will be informal and ongoing, so there will be lots of time for Q & A. I hope to meet you there!