Alpacas, wineries and balloons — get out of town! (Sept. 26-27)

September 23, 2009

Last weekend’s balloon race and glow was one of the few such events held in a city center — and no doubt people hoofing it for miles across Forest Park could understand why! — but I have a great tip for those of you who skipped the festival. Some of the balloonists are hanging out around St. Louis this week and will be gliding over Robller Vineyard and Winery after lifting off from the city park in New Haven, Mo., on Saturday (Sept. 26). For a $3 cover, visitors can do a wine tasting, balloon viewing and hear the Melissa Neels Band’s blues from 1 to 5 p.m.

Granted, you can drink wine, see balloons and hear blues in the city (though not in such a lovely vineyard setting).  But you can’t get up close and personal with an alpaca!  At Big River Alpacas in Dittmer, Mo., there’s an open house in honor of National Alpaca Farm Days on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 26-27). Deborah from Mariposa Farm, who boards her alpacas at Big River, kindly alerted me to the event, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free, and so are the “alpaca beans” in case you’re looking for manure to compost (bring your own container). If you’re wondering what on earth alpacas are good for besides creating beans, this is the place to find out, as there will be wool spinning demos and various products for sale. Be sure to jot down directions from one of the sites before heading out to the farm.  If you get lost, call 636.452.3436.

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