Western Canada’s largest reptile exposition returned to Red Deer this past weekend after a two-year hiatus.
The 12th annual Western Canadian Reptile Expo was hosted at the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre from Saturday to Sunday.
“There are a lot of dried goods, foods and animals that people can see,” said Chris Stinson, who promotes the show alongside Greg West and Tyrone Smith.
“Some pet stores from Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer are here. We even have guys from Ontario here and all over Canada. We get guys from Holland who come out sometimes too.”
This was the first time the event has been in the city since 2019 – the past two years were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stinson said it’s exciting to have the event return after being unable to run for a couple of years. Typically the show brings in a few thousand people over the course of the weekend, but it’s too soon to say how many people attended this year’s event, he added.
“It has been a great turnout this weekend. Red Deer has really supported us over the years,” he said.
A passion for reptiles starts at a young age, Stinson said.
“As a small child, people start off getting into dinosaurs. That translates into frogs and snakes,” he said.
“Then as an adult, you learn more about the exotics. It’s just like when people get a fish or a dog.”
Seeing young people attend the event was exciting as well, Stinson noted.
“A big part of this event is about education,” he said.
“We want to make sure we’re giving everyone the right information. A lot of these reptiles have very specialized needs. Many of our vendors have been around for a long time and know what they’re doing – they’ve kept and bred these animals.”
For more information on the Western Canadian Reptile Expo, visit www.wcre.ca.
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