Exotic creatures coming to the Clark County Fairgrounds

The Ohio Exotic Pet Expo, a trade show selling exotic animals and supplies, is coming to the Clark County Fairgrounds for the first time.

“We’re looking forward to having the expo,” Clark County Fairgrounds Executive Director Dean Blair said. “Anything that we can do these days that is new and different we certainly appreciate that and are glad to get it here.”

The trade show will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. Tickets are $5 for adults, $1 for children and babies are free. VIP tickets are $1 more and allows you to enter the show at 9 a.m.

Ron Billingsley, the Ohio Exotic Pet Expo show promoter said they decided to have the show at the Clark County Fairgrounds, located at 4401 S. Charleston Pike in Springfield, because it is in the middle of several large metropolitan areas like Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.

“By being in Springfield we are accessible to all of these other areas in a short distance.,” Billingsley said.

The show will feature exotic animals like guinea pigs, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, parrots, iguanas, snakes and tortoises. Billingsley said there will not be any lions, tigers, bears, eagles, hawks or venomous animals.

“At this show we will not have anything that is regulated by the state or federal government,” he added.

Billingsley said he is based in Indianapolis and owns several exotic pet shows in Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

He said he is expanding his business be having a show in Ohio.

“I have been doing this for a very long time,” Billingsley said. “The hobby has definitely grown over the years.”

He told the News-Sun that his favorite part of the show is educating individuals and showing them what is available and how to keep these animals safe and secured.

“I love talking to people, getting their reactions and having them actually hold something,” Billingsley said.

The Ohio Exotic Pet Expo is expecting to have 75 to 100 tables of vendors and 500 to 700 people at the show.

Billingsley said if the show is successful, he is planning to have it on a monthly basis.

Masks and social distancing will be required at the Clark County Fairgrounds.

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