October 22nd - 25th, 2020

Iowa State Fairgrounds
Des Moines, Iowa

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Not very long now until we are all together in Des Moines.   It is the all together part that is spurring me to write this letter.   Our exhibitors and vendors are so excited to be able to go to an alpaca show that we (as show organizers) are not even considering anything but full steam ahead.  However, if you have been watching the news the last week, this region and much of where we are all coming from is showing a rise in Covid 19 numbers.  We all have to be responsible for our safety and the safety of our fellow show attendees so we just wanted to touch base with you and let you know what our protocols will be at this event.   Some of this information is new, some we have let you know previously.  All of it we believe comes from standard and acceptable protocols being used throughout our nation and the world.

- Masks and social distancing - if you saw 60 minutes Sunday night a Doctor was asked would she rather a mask or a vaccine and she said "mask".  When asked why, she said because we know masks work.  On that note as you already know we will require a mask be worn while you are in our building at the fairgrounds.  It is simple to do and you know this is a requirement. Please be respectful of all attendees and follow this protocol.  Please bring enough masks for the entire weekend.  Another item we are sure you are used to at this point is social distancing.  By now everyone knows what 6 feet looks like so please stay socially distant from each other while at the show.

- Closed to the public - only vendors, exhibitors and volunteers are allowed in the building.  Depending on outdoor temps doors will be open to encourage airflow but there will be signs at the doors that let folks know it will be a closed event.

-  Judge's will not hand out ribbons - we have not fully worked out the how but we will be placing the ribbons in the ring during each class and when the judge places your alpaca you may go and get your ribbon and get back in line for orals.

- Roaming Ring Steward - This is a big change to normal show procedures but we are taking the ring steward out of the ring generally.  We are telling you this now so if you have an alpaca that you believe might be unruly in the ring take the extra time now to work with your animals and try to get them as comfortable as possible with the ring procedures.   We do understand that no matter how much you work with your alpacas occasionally they surprise you with their behavior in the ring so we are going to have a roaming ring steward that can be summoned by the judge in extreme circumstances but please get your alpacas as comfortable as possible to make sure you can handle them all by yourself.

- No Thursday night exhibitor dinner - Our meals on check in day have always been self service.  Self service just does not cut it right now.   With that said we are having the exhibitors meeting Thursday night sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 so to help you carry over to whatever dinner you select for yourself we will have some beverages and snack bags to take the edge off.

- Changes to rings - We will make sure each ring has their own holding area and that they are not sharing the same space.  Just makes sense and allows social distancing easier.

- Hand sanitizer stations - these will be placed around the barn for your use but please make sure you bring a supply. Also please do not forget that frequent hand washing is another awesome way to keep you healthy.

- Lastly, we are asking you to be intelligent with your health and the health of everyone attending the show.  If you have had contact with someone who tested positive and your local health department has said you should quarantine during any part of the show please stay home.  If you are sick before you leave for Des Moines, then stay home.  Once you get to the show if you start to not feel well at any point during the event remove yourself from the venue or do not return if you are already away from the barn.   Just let us know and we will find a way to get your alpacas shown.  If you are in the building then you are responsibly saying to all your fellow show attendees, I am feeling great, I do not have a fever or feel ill in any way and I believe I am in a physical condition that I can attend the show with no danger to anyone at the event.

I think that is about it guys.   Thanks so much for making the choice to come to the shows, we will be super excited to welcome you on the 22nd just a little over a week away.   We all can't wait!