Month-to-month expo for reptile fanatics hatched in Hilliard’s Makoy Middle


Lizards, geckos and turtles, oh, my!

That trio covers however a number of sorts of reptiles – together with a number of arachnids, too – that may very well be discovered on the first Ohio Reptile & Extra Expo on Dec. 12 on the Makoy Middle, 5462 Middle St. in Hilliard.

The brand new occasion, organized by 2009 Hilliard Darby Excessive Faculty graduate Christopher Brodbeck, will probably be held on the second Sunday of every month in 2022, starting Feb. 13, on the Makoy Middle.

Because the age of 19, Brodbeck, 33, has owned and operated the Reptile Hut, 167 W. Excessive St. in London, only a few blocks away from his residence.

A set of reptiles was a passion for his father however one thing Brodbeck parlayed right into a enterprise, he stated.

The Dec. 12 expo was his first go at selling a reptile present.

Sarah Gordon of Perrysburg makes friends with a bearded dragon Dec. 12 at the Ohio Reptile & More Expo at the Makoy Center in Hilliard.

Some distributors canceled due to the potential hazard of transporting sure animals in chilly climate, however Brodbeck was happy with the primary effort, he stated.

Patrons on the expo included Andrea Mance of Grove Metropolis and her kids, 9-year-old Presley and 6-year-old M.J.

Mance was available in the market for a leopard gecko as a possible Christmas current for M.J. to match the leopard gecko Presley already has at house, she stated.

Additionally within the Christmas mindset was Betsy Stroll, who was on the present along with her grandchildren, 8-year-old Maxwell Killen and 7-year-old Harrison Killen, each of north Columbus.

“(Pets) make an amazing Christmas current,” stated Stroll, including that her household of 4 kids at instances had as many as 19 animals, together with conventional home animals and a menagerie of such small reptiles as bearded dragons, chameleons and geckos.

“Once we went on a trip, it was fairly the checklist for our animal caregivers,” Stroll stated.

Al Underwood, 40, of Grove City handles a purple sharp sunglow boa constrictor Dec. 12 at the Ohio Reptile & More Expo at the Makoy Center in Hilliard.

Different patrons have been on the lookout for bigger sorts of pets.

Al Underwood, 40, of Grove Metropolis was contemplating the $600 buy of a purple sharp sunglow, a sort of boa constrictor, so as to add to the Colombian boa constrictor and corn snake he has at house.

Underwood’s affinity for snakes started within the first-grade classroom at an elementary faculty in Michigan.

“A man got here to our class sooner or later and confirmed us a snake. He stated, ‘Does anybody need to contact it?’ and nobody else did, (however) I stated ‘Sure, I do. This man, proper right here,'” Underwood stated.

Not one of the snakes on the expo have been venomous, stated Ian Strathie, proprietor of Reptilian Exotics, 3408 E. Major St. in east Columbus, simply west of Whitehall.

Ian Strathie, owner of Reptilian Exotics, holds a white-throated monitor Dec. 12 at the Ohio Reptile & More Expo at the Makoy Center in Hilliard.

The possession and sale of venomous snakes require allowing, registration, legal responsibility insurance coverage and even an apprenticeship, based mostly on circumstances, Strathie stated.

“I obtained my first snake once I was 13, and I’ve been caught on it ever since. It’s a ardour,” stated Strathie, 33, of east Columbus.

Some folks drove a average distance to go to the expo, together with 32-year-old Sarah Gordon from Perrysburg.

Gordon went to the expo to buy a bearded dragon.

“I used to have one and now I’m wanting once more,” Gordon stated.

Michael Freimuth of Akron went to construct a group of arachnids.

Freimuth bought quite a lot of arachnids, together with a Grammostola pulchripes, a bigger species of tarantula.

Freimuth traveled from Akron to make the acquisition in particular person from a web based vendor, 8paws Tarantulas.

“I began gathering spiders as a child outdoors round my house (in Texas),” he stated. “I collected no matter I may discover whereas getting yelled at by my dad and mom.”

Maxwell Killen, 8, of north Columbus meets a leopard gecko Dec. 12 at the Ohio Reptile & More Expo at the Makoy Center in Hilliard.

Freimuth considerably expanded his assortment on the expo, including 4 extra arachnid species to the six he had at house.

His assortment is only for viewing, Freimuth stated.

“I don’t take them out and deal with them,” he stated.

For extra details about the expo and a schedule of future dates, go to



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