Christmas comes early to Coventry village
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Coventry - posted Thu., Dec. 6, 2012
It was a balmy day on Dec.2, and many were in shirtsleeves as they perused the events at Christmas in the Village along Main Street in Coventry. At one end of the street, Round Hill Alpaca Farm, a Coventry native, had a booth featuring products and a corral housing two of the farm’s camelid residents, Clarence and Cody. Clarence, a deep chocolate brown, is an adult. Little Cody, just 3 months old, is a beautiful combination of white, black and dove grey. The pair appeared to be doing their best to avoid the caresses of eager visitors, though Clarence could occasionally be convinced to accept some pellets from an outstretched hand.
“They’re tired,” explained Brianna, one of several 4-H members overseeing the animals. “They usually take a nap at this time of day.” Brianna, Jillian and Melissa, students from three different surrounding towns, were all members of Paca Pals, a club within Tolland County 4-H. Jillian, age 11, said that she’d been interested in alpaca for years. “I was at a 4-H fair and I saw [Round Hill’s] pamphlet,” she said. “I really like [alpaca’s] personalities. If you get to know them, they each have their own personality.”
Paca Pals members, who may or may not be involved with other animals through 4-H, meet on a regular basis and help out at Round Hill events. The girls said they’d learned a lot about the animals through their involvement with the club. “They don’t have teeth in the top front,” offered Manchester resident Melissa. “They get shorn once a year, in April. And they like to be with other alpacas. They don’t like to be alone.”
Next to Round Hill, Newberry Farm Equestrian Center, from Columbia, offered pony rides. Further down the street, local businesses such as Coventry Arts and Antiques and KDM Antiques, were open to visitors. Some buildings, such as the Booth and Dimock Memorial Library, offered entertainment. The library offered a session with local storyteller Carolyn Stearns. There were chocolate tastings and live entertainment. There were wagon rides offered by Cedar Knoll Farm, from Lisbon. Other attractions included face painting, a carol sing, a dance demonstration and an auction of decorated Christmas trees.