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Dances with Llamas
July 2, 2006 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Llama Drill Team. Yes, it's true. Every June at the Maine Fiber Frolic, which takes place over a full weekend at the Windsor Fairgrounds on Rt. 32, a cadre of camelids and their handlers (who range in age from grade-schoolers to retirees) perform carefully choreographed routines. According to news reports, music for this year's program included marches by John Philip Sousa and Elton John and Tim Rice's "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" (Photos here, here and here.) But Maine isn't the only place you can catch one of these barnyard extravaganzas. Ohio's well-known "All-Star Llama Drill Team" (established in the mid-1990s) are a fixture at the Buckeye State's 17-day state fair, which also features a llama costume contest and a llama obstacle course. What's more, the troupe has traveled around the Midwest to perform at, for example, a camelid convention in Minnesota. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses (7 comments total)

 
The inventors of the event, Jack and Donna Moore of Timberlane Llamas (Somerset, Ohio) became renowned as llama drill-team choreographers. Jack died in January 2004, unfortunately, but Donna and her crew continue to perform. (You can see some commemorative shots at the Timberlane website.)

Sadly, though, despite my exhaustive searches, online video clips of llama drill teams in action were nowhere to be found.

(Previous MeFi llama sightings here and here.)
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:50 AM on July 2, 2006


I remember the first year they did this in Windsor -- my ex-husband had to shoot the event for the newspaper. I said, "What? Llama what?" and when he told me again I still thought it was some kind of a joke.
posted by JanetLand at 8:57 AM on July 2, 2006


Ok, so, they should totally perform something from Dark Side of the Moon.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:03 AM on July 2, 2006


Whoops, sorry, that last link is to a camelid convention in Illinois, not Minnesota.
posted by GrammarMoses at 9:25 AM on July 2, 2006


God fucking dammit. You had to post this after the event was over, huh?

/marks calendar for next year
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2006


I'm a handspinner, and I think I'm going to insist on llama drill teams at all fiber events I attend in the future.
posted by QIbHom at 2:12 PM on July 2, 2006


I've seen the Llama drill team many times, and frankly I've never been that impressed. I'd be more impressed if the Llamas walked by themselves, rather than being led.

The fiber frolic is fun, though.

Here's some Llama trivia I learned at the last one I attended: never keep just one Llama. Keep two, or if you can't do that at least keep your Llama along with sheep or something.

Llama's are pack animals, and solitary Llamas tend to get very depressed and start to think they are the last Llama left on earth. They'll start to tear out their own fleece, and will finally stop eating and decline. I met a very nice man who does Llama rescue, taking sad, lonely Llamas whose owners no longer want to care for them and giving them a new pack and a happy home.

Llama Llama Duck
posted by anastasiav at 8:54 PM on July 3, 2006


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