Reptile Fest at Oxbow Meadows Set for Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center will host its annual Reptile Fest from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 10.

Activities for all ages will include live reptile displays, reptile-themed crafts and games with prizes, a jump house and an interactive demonstration by CSU animal specialist Jason Clark, who is becoming known nationally for his reptile expertise.

A 30-foot Reptile Wagon will display various native reptiles including gopher tortoises, alligators, venomous snakes and non-venomous snakes. Exotic species of snakes also will be shown, as experts will be at the wagon to answer questions.

While the wagon reptiles will be inside locked cages for safe, up-close viewing, docile snakes, tortoises and other reptiles will be accessible for hands-on encounters.

Crafts and games will allow for kids to engage in painting snakes on canvases, race to find toy snakes hidden in hay, play in a 40-foot jump house and more.

Pets from home can be entered into a “Hiss America Pageant” at noon. Any legal and nonvenomous reptile can enter the contest for judging based on such criteria as “overall beauty,” “personality,” and ‘wow’ factor.” Following the pageant, a “Reptile Encounter” demonstration will be delivered 2-3 p.m. by Clark, hired by CSU this past fall as an animal expert for Oxbow Meadows and star of Snakes’Kin, a six-episode reality series debuting April 12 on the Animal Planet channel.

Reptile Fest will be held rain or shine, as all outdoor activities will be tent-covered. The center is located at 3535 South Lumpkin Road. Admission is $3 and free for kids age 3 and under. For more information, call 706-687-4090 or go to http://oxbow.colstate.edu.