The thing about it is, alpacas dont like people messing with their heads and their legs, explains Becky Zierer, who runs the costume contest. They want to be able to see whats coming and then run away from their predators, so costumes that interfere with their heads or their legs startle them. But the thing is, the more you work with them, the more you can get them comfortable with it, so thats the big difficulty of this.
The result: elaborate alpaca garb that often involves pants and hats, since those are the hardest things to make happen. Those efforts will come to fruition in tonights contest, where contestants will be judged on their costume, the apparent comfort of the alpaca, and a written short story explaining the costume. For the spectator, its basically just parading the alpacas around with all their stuff on, admits Zierer but you know what? Thats more than enough for us.
It happens at 6 p.m. at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street; the Alpaca Show continues throughout the weekend. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.alpacaowners.com.
Thu., May 19, 6 p.m., 2011