We had a blast! Perfect weather, huge crowds (for us anyway!) with just over 200 people through. The alpacas were a hit, people loved Pete's workshops ("most farmers don't speak!" was one comment after his first workshop lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes), kids got to feed out nuts and take Prince Naveen for a walk and the Bay of Plenty Times pitched up and took some lovely photos for a one page spread in today's newspaper.
I think everyone who visited got something out of it and it was fascinating to hear why people came along:
we just love alpacas (and that was from all ages and both genders!)
a day out for kids growing up in town
a lot this year were interested in getting some as pets / lawnmowers
a few were investigating setting up a breeding venture
a few have inherited some through property purchases and aren't sure what to do with them
a lot of curious folk wanting to learn more about them for a huge variety of reasons: a family member is working with them; wanting to be a vet; seen them from the road; have done some alpaca businesses accounts!
a few wanting to taste them :)
Oh and the lovely vet who did our first ever emergency delivery for us this year brought her family up to meet "her cria"!
By the end of the day we were shattered but buzzing. It was so positive to see the level of interest of the public in alpacas and all the different sides to the industry. As a boutique breeder with a small herd of 40+ alpacas it is difficult to know how to contribute to growing the scale of our national herd so that we can meet the demand for fleece, meat, hides and animals that does exist overseas.
Opening your farm, whatever size, whatever focus is definitely one little step towards that end goal.
So thanks to everyone who visited and to the media who really got behind us this year as well, both the Tauranga Sun and Bay of Plenty Times and of course the now defunct Central News TV!
There's more photos on Facebook too.