KENNEWICK, Wash. -- When asked why she got into the alpaca business, Nikki Griffith of Kennewick is quick to respond.
"Those big brown eyes," she said joyfully.
Nikki Griffith and her husband, Collins Griffith, started Sandollar Alpacas in Arizona in 2003. They started with a small herd of the shorter, fuzzier and much more profitable cousin of the llama.
In 2006, the Griffith moved to the Tri-Cities. At the time there was "no property available" that fit the couple's particular vision, said Collins Griffith.
This year, they said the perfect property became available, and in August, Sandollar Alpacas moved to its "forever" home on a rural hilltop in Kennewick with "spectacular views."
This weekend, Sandollar will celebrate the new location as well as the National Alpaca Farm Days during a two-day extravaganza. Five other area farms are participating in the Farm Days event.
Visitors to Sandollar will have the opportunity to meet the herd, now 36 members strong, tour the farm and watch fiber arts demonstrations.
Attendees also will be able to visit the on-site farm store and purchase a variety of alpaca fiber goods, including home decor items and clothing.
Sandollar's new dry feltloom will also be "hard at work." The loom, 5 1/2 -by-4 feet tall, turns cleaned and carded wool into felt and allows for designs to put directly into the felt.
The loom will allow Sandollar to create a variety of new products including purses, rugs and coats. What you can make out of alpaca fibers is "limited only by your imagination," said Nikki Griffith.
The farm is at 190605 E. 47th Ave., Kennewick. Light refreshments will be available.
Five other alpaca farms will be celebrating National Alpaca Farm Days with tours and activities 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday:
w Yakima River Alpacas, 1515 Jones Road, Richland.
w Gentle Treasure Alpaca, 190605 East 47th Ave., Kennewick.
w Tres Aguas Alpacas, 57803 E. Badger Road, Benton City.
w Enchanted Acres Ranch Alpacas, 42901 N. River Road, Benton City.
w Sage Bluff Alpacas, 8401 S. Steele Road, Prosser.
More information about Farm Days at www.tri-citiesalpacas.com.