In their native Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, llamas carry heavy loads over terrain which is impassable to motorized vehicles. They are the trucks of the Andes. In America, life is much easier where they have become popular for carrying camping gear on weekend hikes and day trips. Many have found a niche as sheep guards on the open range. Still others, like an RV purchased with good intentions but somehow never used, spend their lives simply munching grass and looking gorgeous and exotic to passers by.
The Llama Fest was originally conceived as an opportunity to highlight Llamas and their owners in the most public way possible: in the overall cultural context of food, music, spinning and weaving demonstrations, music, dance, and competitions between the llamas and their handlers. “If an average attendance of 4,000-5,000 is a public enough event,” says festival coordinator Chris Warden, “ then we’ve been successful.
"This is an event which offers more than many festivals. Other festivals have booths, exhibits, and some food. Above that, any festival that has good, live entertainment will definitely be successful: if over and above that, you have llamas, which everyone likes, and which are relatively safe for children, then you have really got something that nobody else can offer."
‘We have over 50 llamas ourselves at Utah Valley Llamas and we encourage other llamas owners from all over the state to bring their animals. It’s a nice family outing where the kids will compete on the obstacle course and show ring with their llamas for ribbons, and the parents and grandparents will cheer them on.”
The Llama Fest features a baby llama (cria) corral where the children can fraternize with their animal counterparts.
Continuous live music and dance on the outdoor stage will come from Alborada, Kausachun Peru, Rhumba Rambo, The Glass Gentlemen, The Wiggins Brothers, & Center Stage Performing Arts. Richard Christensen has been to every Llama Fest since 1995. “Early on in the evening, it’s nice to watch the llamas and their handlers. The llamas are well groomed, graceful, and gentle. It’s like watching living art to the background music of the Andes. Towards dusk the beat picks up and many of the younger folks, like myself, like to dance.”
Food booths will offer such south of the border favorites as chili, nachos, emphanadas, braised vegetables with fried curd, bread pudding, spicy wraps, and lemon mango fruit drinks.
A good selection of Andean craft items like jewelry, rugs, shawls, carvings and clothing will be available on site. Please note there are 600 parking spaces on the temple property. Parking is free. There is no need to park on the road, and walk a long way to the event.
Bring the whole family for a fun and educational experience. Admission is $3.00 per person or $1.00/children. Llama Fest XVI is sponsored in part by a grant from the Utah Arts Council & The National Endowment for the Arts.
** Please note there are 600 parking spaces on the temple property. Parking is free. There is no need to park on the road, and walk a long way to the event.
If you are coming south on I - 15, take exit 257, turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp and travel three miles to the temple. You'll proceed through Spanish Fork (about 5 traffic lights) on Main St. (which changes its name to State Road), and continue another 1 1/2 semi rural miles. The temple is highly visible on a hill to the right hand side. Coming north on I - 15 exit at 253, turn right at the exit ramp stop sign, and follow the signs to Krishna's Lotus Temple. (801) 798-3559
For more information, or to volunteer help before and during the event, call 798-3559/787-1510. Visit our web site at www.utahvalleyllamas.org
Volunteer information : the following volunteers at Llama Fest will be rewarded with a free meal and/or festival T-shirt (discretion of managers). Those who volunteer to help with parking will receive BOTH meals and T-shirt.
• Pre-festival cooking, Thursday, Friday July 15, 16, 9 am - 1 pm. Come for all or part of the time.
• Grooming llamas and festival set up, Noon - 3 pm
• Parking Attendants (shifts) 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm or 5:00 pm - 8 pm
• Traffic Control 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm
• Food Service 3:30 pm- 6:00 pm or 6:00 - 8:30 pm
• Cria Corral 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm or 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm.
All fees for admission ($3.00 adult $ 1.00 child) apply as well to volunteers.