By Kristina Whitley
Each July for the past six years, the small community of Hare Krishnas who have made Utah Valley their home host a festival in Spanish Fork in celebration of a rather unexpected animal: the llama.
“Llama Fest is meant to be interesting for everybody,” says Chris Warden, a Hare Krishna who co-founded Llama Fest seven years ago with his wife, Christine.
The llamas, each weighing 280-500 pounds, strut their stuff for visitors in races, exhibitions and petting
In addition to llama-related events, the festival also includes live music, dancing, wool demonstrations, authentic handicrafts and South American food. Patrons can even get a llama tattoo.
Spanish Fork Krishna leaders say the underlying religious sentiment in the LDS community has been a great help to them in realizing their dreams of having a temple. BYU students have participated in fund-raising for the Hare Krishna temple for years.
Llama Fest events take place Saturday, July 15 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 8628 S Main, Spanish Fork. Admission is $2 per person or $6 per family.
The Hare Krishnas use the festival to raise money for community projects, such as building a brand new temple, which will be completed this summer.
Although there are more than 50 other Krishna temples throughout the country, the Spanish Fork temple is the first completely Indian-style Krishna temple in the United States.
Visitors are invited to the temple dedication on June 23rd and to the community events hosted by the Hare Krishna community afterward.
For information, or to volunteer, please call KHQN radio at (801) 798-3559.