The Reptile Festival is slithering its way back to the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville on Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., giving festival attendees the chance to view a wide variety of cold-blooded creatures, including some of the most exotic and feared reptiles from around the world.
The Reptile Festival presents a unique opportunity for visitors to see dozens of live snakes and other reptiles, while allowing presenters to demonstrate how reptiles play a critical role in the environment and, most often, a harmless role in peoples' day-to-day lives. Visitors are also allowed the opportunity to handle a variety of the animals on display.
“Reptiles, especially snakes, are polarizing animals that seem to have most people either loving them or hating them,” said Zach Ryder, marketing and public relations manager at the museum. “This festival is a fantastic way for visitors to indulge in their reptile curiosities or face their fears and gain an appreciation for these animals in a fun, festive atmosphere.”
The festival is once again highlighted by crowd-favorite, Mark Kilby, of the Luray Zoo, who will show-off some of the most iconic reptiles on earth, including a king cobra, monocled cobra, timber rattlesnake, gila monster, alligator, alligator snapping turtle, red-footed tortoise and others. Kilby's presentations are scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to arrive well before the scheduled times to ensure a chance to view the shows.
"Mark's shows have been extremely popular in the past, to the point that we've reached maximum crowd capacity on multiple occasions," said Ryder. "We encourage anyone wishing to view the show to arrive early to ensure that they have a seat."
Cold Blooded Encounters reptile zoo and science center returns to the museum, bringing along dozens of live animal displays.
“We’re excited to have Cold Blooded Encounters join us again this year to bring their amazing displays and expertise to the Reptile Festival,” said Ryder.
In addition to the offerings of the Luray Zoo and Cold Blooded Encounters, the Virginia Herpetological Society will have a special turtle display at the event, while Exotics & Aquatics is scheduled to bring a variety of live animals, including an Asian Water Monitor. The museum's own herpetology collection will also be on display.
The Reptile Festival will feature a variety of reptile-themed games and crafts throughout the day. Activities include a virtual reality experience provided by U.S. Cellular, as well as festival staples, such as balloon animals, face painting, temporary tattoos and story time. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the museum's PALEO Café throughout the event.
Admission to the festival is $7 for adults ages 19-59, $5 for ages 3-18, and $4 for seniors 60+ and college students. Admission is free for children under 3 and museum members. Admission also grants visitors access to all of the museum’s exhibit galleries.
Thank you to all of our 2017 Reptile Festival sponsors!