If you're in to creepy, crawly things, this is an event for you.
Repticon, the national organizer of reptile and exotic animal conventions, is bringing its International Reptile Show back to Florida.
Snakes, lizards, frogs and other assorted creatures from around the world will be on hand as part of the show set for March 24-25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. Visitors are asked to use the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entrance to the fairgrounds.
Admission to the show is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and free for children 4 and under. Teachers are admitted for free with an I.D. There is a $5 parking fee at the fairgrounds as well.
The fair will feature educational seminars, exhibits and activities for the entire family.
Among the 54 exhibitors at the show is the LB Reptile Experience, a reptile rescue program from Jacksonville that takes more than 400 calls a year for both exotic and indigenous reptiles. Their presentation and seminar will be hands on. Kids will get to touch the animals and hold some of them, as they learn the special stories of these rescued herps from Bob Shumaker.
Learn how you can help animals in need, and expect a presentation including some birds of prey. Their presentation at the show will focus on "Florida Wildlife," and is planned to include: a barred owl, a red-shouldered hawk, an alligator and a great horned owl.
Bill Murray from Redfoot Ranch and the Central Florida Turtle and Tortoise Club will be speaking in a live animal presentation on tortoises. Tortoise presentations don't happen at every show, so schedule a time to learn more regarding these magnificent animals sometimes known to outlive their keepers.
Daniel Parker from Sunshine Serpents will be giving a presentation on Field Herping Adventures. Parker will share some entertaining stories on his personal adventures finding reptiles in the wild, along with lots of photos.
Tom Brown from Under the Canopy Farms will be giving a presentation on the wet world of captive-bred tropical amphibians.
Mary Bailey's Gator Country Theater will feature a live alligator show.
Visit the Critter Encounters table to see what animals they have been rescuing lately, and how you can also help an animal in need. Animals expected in Tampa are a wolf hybrid, gator, Asian water monitor, ferrets and a sulcata tortoise.
And thanks to sponsorship from ExoTerra and White Hot Dragons, Repticon will again have one of its greatest door prize raffles ever. Raffles will be held every hour for multiple prizes throughout the weekend, including a free raffle for a bearded dragon. The dragon will be raffled on Saturday at approximately 1 p.m. and the winner must be present to claim the pet as a prize. Inquire at the Info table at the show on how to enter the drawing.
There also will be a special VIP raffle reserved for those guests who purchase two-day VIP tickets and enter an hour early on Saturday. Prizes include entire ExoTerra Habitat set-ups and large cage decor such as waterfalls and rock outcrops. VIP tickets are available for pre-purchase at Repticon's website.