The concept of the West Virginia Fiber Festival was submitted as a goal for the West Virginia Alpaca Organization with it’s inception in 2007. After getting the WVAO off the ground as the premier alpaca organization in West Virginia the first WV Fiber Festival was planned and executed in 2010 with fantastic results.
The first Festival, in September 2010, attracted over 500 attendees, 25 vendors and some 20 livestock producers showing several sheep breeds, angora goats, alpacas, and maremma livestock guardian dogs. Educational events offered included sheering, sorting and grading fiber, husbandry and livestock behavioral training. Events presented included a fashion show and fleece contest. A fur and pelt display was presented by WVU Professor Bob Cochran. The logo for the WVFF was developed by Sarah Loy, an art major student at Shepherd University.
The Festival was a great success. Exit Surveys along with volunteer suggestions were compiled to make positive improvements for the 2011.
The second festival was held on September 10 & 11, 2011 at the same location and was an even greater success. An increase of displays, programs, educational presentations (shearing, handling, training, husbandry, judging, etc.) attracted more people to this event. Our hands-on activities through which the public could participate and experience first-hand gave visitors the opportunity to learn about the wonders and excitement of the Fiber Industry. WVU Professor Holly Lentz along with some of her students joined us and executed our Fashion Show. The 2011 WV Fiber Festival placed special emphasis on family and young-people’s involvement. Youth is our future.
We look forward to many more WV Fiber Festival years.