By Christopher Galvan
The Cal Poly Pomona Insect Fair was crawling with energy on Saturday and Sunday.
For over 25 years, the Insect Fair has been a fall campus event. The fair showcases thousands of species of reptiles and invertebrates from across the globe, with bugs, merchandise and even edible critters for sale.
With over 60,000 people on campus for the Pumpkin Festival, Matt’s Run and Preview Day, the Insect Fair had no shortage of attendees throughout the event-filled weekend. Scientists and part-time bug enthusiasts gathered in the Bronco Student Center to educate the young and old in a setting more familiar and comfortable than the creepy-crawly insect world.
Bugs ” large or small, alive or preserved ” were on display for all to enjoy, study and purchase during the annual fair. Vendors also brought bug-related merchandise to sell during the fair.
Some of the proceeds from the fair go towards the Agricultural Biology Club on campus, who helps run the event. The fair partly funds the club’s yearly trips to study insects and biology around the world. Previous trips have included South and Central America, Asia and New Zealand.
Children who attended the fair left with the beginnings of their very own insect collections. Other vendors had animal collections worth thousands of dollars.
“I came because I like bugs and spiders,” said 9-year-old Ethan Pari. “I’ve never been here before, but I like tarantulas the most.”
Well-known insects like butterflies were on display, as well as some less observed, more frightening creatures such as tarantulas, millipedes and cicadas.
Available for purchase were some interesting and expensive varieties: a tarantula for $125 and a preserved titan beetle for $1900. For those on a budget, Surinam cockroaches were available for $2 to $5.
Robert Brians, who owns Freaky, Unusual, and Interesting Bugs and Pets in San Diego, has been a vendor at the Insect Fair for three years. While his most expensive bug is a $400 tarantula, he says that some people prefer to buy animals that aren’t living.
“[Insect World] makes at least $20,000 in a single show,” said Brians. “Some people like [preserved animals] more because you don’t have to feed them, and they do look nice.”
Madison Lynch, a third-year economics student, enjoyed the fair.
“The insect fair was so cool,” said Lynch. “The tarantulas were my favorite because they looked really cool when they were moving around.”
I’ve never been to any type of bug event before so this was new for me. I was too scared to try eating any of the bug candies, but I actually learned a lot about insects.”
If you missed it this year, the annual event will be at CPP next fall with more petting zoos, insects, and bug snacks for the ride home.
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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