Crafters, livestock appeal to fair-goers

by: ELLEN SPITALERI - West Linn residents Lauren True, 10, left, and Holly Jones, 10, pose with Olympe, Hollys standard llama at the recent Clackamas County Fair. Both girls are members of the Spring Creek Sproingers. Although the Clackamas County Fair is over for this year, with its mix of midway rides, food, crafts and animals, it definitely lived up to its theme of “Fun for the Whole Herd.”

In the huge craft area, members of the Portland Lace Society were on hand Aug. 14 to demonstrate various forms of lace making.

Joanne Meier of Oregon City was learning a technique called knotted lace. Her teacher was Elena Dickson, who hails from Adelaide, Australia, but who summers in Oregon. Her hometown lace society has paired up with the Portland chapter as a “sister” society, she noted.

She also said that “knotted lace is one of the oldest forms of lace making, dating back to the ancient Greeks.”

What would any county fair be without animals, and cute animals at that? Rabbits, llamas and alpacas seemed to hit the top of the cuteness scale, with both their handlers and passersby as well.

Three young ladies, all members of the Rabbit Wranglers Club, spent some time grooming their bunnies outside of the livestock area, and everyone walking by wanted to pet the furry critters.

Gretchen Pauli, 10, an Oregon City resident, said she likes rabbits because “they are cuddly and nice,” while Ingrid Bartlett, who lives in Sellwood, said rabbits are sweet and have a “nice perky attitude that makes me happy.”

Another Oregon City resident, Hannah Ziettlow, 12, showed two rabbits, Momo, a mini rex, and a much bigger bunny, Baxter, who is a Flemish giant.

“I like cuddling with them and it is fun to show them. It is funny to watch them; they do such cute things,” she said.

Daniel Villarreal, 16, is a member of the North Clackamas Future Farmers of America chapter, and attends Rex Putnam High School. This is his first year showing rabbits at the fair, and he ended up with a blue ribbon for showmanship.

He chose rabbits, he said, because he wanted to start small, before moving up to bigger animals.

Llamas, alpacas and more

Talk about drawing a crowd, when members of thby: ELLEN SPITALERI - Holly Jones, 10, West Linn, tells a group of children that it is OK to pet her llama, Olympe. She won a Clackamas County Fair red ribbon in the handling division with Olympe. e Spring Creek Sproingers brought out their llamas and alpacas, a flash mob of kids showed up to pet the irresistible creatures with melting dark eyes.

Lauren True and Holly Jones, both 10-year-old West Linn residents, put their llamas on leads and led them out into the livestock area, where they had just a bit of trouble navigating the 300-pound creatures through the crowd.

Holly, who won a red ribbon for handling, said llamas are “so sweet and cute and energetic; they calm you down.”

When Emily Walsworth, 10, from Lake Oswego, and Kaci Spain, 12, from West Linn, added their alpacas to the mix, even more people showed up to enjoy the spectacle.

Alpacas are pack animals and you cannot bring them to an event alone, said Nancy Breen, one of the group leaders. She added that the animals are bred for their fleece.

But for Emily and Kaci, the appeal is somewhat different.

Emily won a red ribbon for handling with champagne-colored Bentley, a Suri alpaca, and she likes alpacas, because “they are really cute and they hug and kiss you.”

Kaci brought along ebony-colored Dynamite as a companion animal for Bentley, and added that she is attracted to the animals because “they look like big stuffed animals.”

Some people may not find steers cute, but Kaitlyn Vander Pas, 18, and a graduate of Rex Putnam High School, said “steers are more exciting than sheep or goats. I have a thing about cows and I love their noses.”

Her love of animals will take her to Oregon State University in the fall, where she plans to be a large-animal veterinarian.

And no county fair would be complete without a visit to the poultry area.

Danielle Buss, 16, is a member of the North Clackamas FFA and attends Rex Putnam High School. She raised several Cornish cross broilers from day-old chicks to their present age of 6 weeks.

“This is my first year, and I wanted to start off small,” she said, adding that she received second place in market show and fourth place in showmanship with her chickens.

For more information about the fair, visit ELLEN SPITALERI - West Linn resident Kaci Spain, 12, brought Dynamite, her black Suri alpaca, to be a companion animal for Bentley, seen in the background with Emily Walsworth, 10, a Lake Oswego resident. Bentley was shown at the recent Clackamas County Fair.

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