Today we were up very early to pack up and travel to the Great Midwest Alpaca Festival (GMAF), in Madison, Wisconsin.
The first day is the day you arrive and set up your stalls. It's a lot of work and of course you want your stall to look nice and your animals well taken care of, so this can take a lot of time.
We made sure to arrive early so that we can set up before it gets really busy. We also left early in the morning to avoid the worst traffic through Chicago. Our drive went well other than quite a bit of construction north of Chicago. But it is construction season.
Each venue is a little different, so each time set up is a little different. For this venue, we were able to get in and set up most of our stall before we brought the alpacas in.
We went inside the building and put down our stall mats. We also filled and put up water buckets so our travel weary alpacas could drink some fresh water. Then we hauled the 7 alpacas inside. They were vet checked and color checked. Thankfully both went without any hitches. They all color checked as assigned - the color check is essential for making sure they are entered into the right class to show.
Once the alpacas were in the stall, J set about getting our fans up and running. While Suri alpacas do not need fans on them, it's essential for Huacayas. If a huacaya does not have a fan on them they will start to sweat by their skin. This makes their fiber wilt and the crimp isn't what it should be. And instead of feeling soft and luxurious, they feel gross.
Here you can see our line of fans on the far wall:
While J was working on that I took the bale of hay:
And stuffed the hay into the hay bags to hang in the pens:
While that seems like an easy enough job, I always make a terrible embarrassing mess!!
We also put up signs, but I took the picture when only one sign was up, we put up two:
As we started to finish setting up I was tired and did not get a picture of our stall all finished. I will have to get a picture of that tomorrow.