Leapin’ lizards!

The Hudson Valley Reptile Expo is coming to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center this Sunday, September 25. The event, which Herpnerds co-owner and promoter Jen Jones said is family-friendly, is a much larger affair than the inaugural offering held in June. “It was smaller, but very successful for a first show,” she said. “This one has doubled in size.”

In addition to a market where dealers will sell captive-bred reptiles and amphibians and all the associated supplies, there will also be presentations by Mark Perpetua of Reptile Encounters, including a possible appearance by an alligator. A special show featuring a Parson’s chameleon – one of only 25 in the country, according to Jones – will take place at 10:30 a.m.

Jones said that she and her partner, Mark Wallen, didn’t become reptile fans themselves until they began learning about them with their children. Now, they want not only to foster an enthusiasm in people about the often-misunderstood animals, but also to help them understand both the joys and responsibilities of keeping one in the home. “We feel it’s important to educate the community about pet ownership,” Jones said.

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The Herpnerds-sponsored Hudson Valley Reptile Expo at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center will run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. Admissions are $10 for adults, $4 for children aged 7 to 12 and free for kids under age 7. For more information visit www.herpnerds.com.

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