The Pomona Fairplex was crawling with people and different animal species at the annual Reptile Super Show event held Jan. 22-23.
This recuring event has been going on for over a decade and is considered one of the world’s largest reptile events. The Fairplex held over a thousand different reptiles, amphibians, insects and other creatures within its 100,000 square foot building. Guests who attended could browse the wide variety of animals and purchase one of their choosing and buy habitat and feed supplies.
Jay Spring, an early childhood education student at Santa Monica College, said he attended the event because he loves animals. He came to the event when he was 12 years old and was excited to revisit and relive the experience.
“It’s just so nice seeing many different species in one place and getting to learn more about the world around you. Learning where the creatures come from, their environment and the way that they live, is so cool, and it’s so nice to see other like-minded people here,” said Spring.
The building was bustling with attendees of all ages and even families were brought together to enjoy the species that were displayed. There were many vendors and guests who were extremely passionate about reptiles and animals alike.
“I’ve been selling reptiles since I was 9 years old. I did my first show when I was 9, and I’ve been doing it for 34 years now. I caught my first snake when I was 8, and I was hooked ever since and that’s what made me want to do it as a career,” said Johnny Zimmerman, a vendor at the event and the sales manager at The Reptile Shop in Temecula, California.
While the event was filled with almost 20,000 people, COVID-19 precautions were held in place. Prior to entering the event, guests were required to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative test result within 48 hours of the event. Additionally, everyone was required to wear their face mask at all times within the venue.
One vendor felt that the safety precautions were accomplished well and there was nothing else they could have implemented. “Requiring either a vaccination record or a negative test result within the last 48 hours was really good and also all of the announcements that they’ve made over the speakers, making sure that everyone was wearing their masks and all of the enforcement I’ve seen was really well-handled,” stated Madigan Souther, a vendor at the event and manager at LLLReptile in Menifee, California.
Souther also mentioned that normally events like these put on scheduled shows like those featuring venomous animals, but she felt that in times like these it was better left undone in order to avoid people sitting close together for longer periods of time.
The venue also catered food trucks located right outside of the building for guests to refresh and purchase food or drinks.
For those who love reptiles or are just looking to have a new educational experience, The Reptile Super Show is an informative event to attend and to potentially bring home a new friend.
The Reptile Super Show’s next event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center July 9-10 and details can be found on their website.