The first All Alaska Reptile and Exotics Expo held in Anchorage since 2019 saw approximately a thousand enthusiasts winding their way to West High School on Saturday morning. This marked a significant turnout for the expo, surprising exhibitors with the sheer volume of attendees during the first couple of hours. Colin Lindsey, an exhibitor and the proprietor of the Reptile Barn, expressed excitement over the community’s overwhelming support and interest in the event.

The 2024 expo, previously hosted in Wasilla for several years by Lindsey, featured a diverse array of 25 vendors in the high school’s gymnasium. These vendors showcased a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, captivating attendees of all ages with the allure of cold-blooded animals such as snakes, iguanas, axolotls, and turtles. Lindsey highlighted the event’s inclusivity, noting that vendors ranged in age, with some in their 80s, who have been caring for their exotic pets for decades.

In addition to viewing the animals, attendees had the opportunity to engage with rescue adoption stations, admire reptile-inspired artwork, and gain hands-on experience. The expo served as an educational platform, emphasizing the importance of proper care for these unique animals. According to Lindsey, educating the public is crucial to ensure the health and safety of these pets, a mission passionately shared by the vendors.

With an expectation of 3,000 visitors by the expo’s end, Lindsey is optimistic about the event’s future in Anchorage and plans to host another expo in Wasilla come August. His commitment to spreading knowledge and fostering a community around exotic animal care underlines the success of this year’s expo and sets a hopeful tone for future events.

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