Photo by Brian Giandelone
Snakes, lizards and spiders, oh my!
The list of creatures that will inhabit the Gwinnett Fairgrounds this weekend includes ones that slither, creep and crawl.
The reptile and exotic animal expo Repticon will be held Saturday and Sunday, drawing both people looking for pets -- anything from bearded dragons and leopard geckos to boas and pythons -- along with guests attending for the educational aspects.
"We get almost a 50-50 mix," said event manager Billy Healy. "We get definitely people that purchase pets, that's about half of it, but we also have a lot of folks who just come to learn about the animals. We have a lot of families who come just to have something fun to see."
Repticon has expanded its venomous snake display, which last year included only snakes native to Georgia. The display now features exotic venomous snakes, including some of the deadliest slithering species from around the world.
"Stuff that you don't normally see sometimes even at zoos," Healy said.
Repticon will also feature an interactive seminar with Bill Love of Blue Chameleon Ventures. Love is well known in the world of herpetology for his experience photographing reptiles. He will share techniques for snapping the best photos at 1 p.m. Saturday, and participants are invited to bring along cameras.
Guests can get up close to tarantulas, scorpions and other small creatures during a presentation by Mike Dean with Exotic Kingdom, who will introduce guests to his creepy, crawling friends at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"His presentation is actually really neat," Healy said. "He does get them out, show people a much closer view of the larger tarantulas they wouldn't normally get to see."
Repticon will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. One-day admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for those four and younger, while two-day admission is $12 online and $15 at the door. For more information on the expo, call 863-268-4273 or visit www.repticon.com/atlanta.