Crowds enjoy snake shows at expo
SNAKES ALIVE! – Terry Vandeventer extols the benefits of snakes to people as he holds a Hog Nose snake during his Snakes of Mississippi seminar at The Meridian Star's 2002 Outdoor Expo on Saturday. Vandeventer is on the expo's agenda again today with a 2 p.m. seminar. The expo is open today from noon-5 p.m. at the Frank Cochran Center in Highland Park. Photo by Carisa Mccain / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
August 18, 2002
Nine-year-old Mitchell Winstead got exactly what he wanted out of The Meridian Star's 2002 Outdoor Expo Saturday when he was brought on stage to touch a python.
Winstead and two other children were hand-picked out of a packed audience by Terry Vandeventer, a reptile and amphibian expert, to come on stage to hold the large snake.
Mitchell's appearance on stage with the python ended an hour-long seminar by Vandeventer on Mississippi snakes. Vandeventer had two shows at the expo Saturday to educate the audience about the reptiles.
Vandeventer used his seminar to showcase several of Mississippi's 51 snakes.
Vandeventer handled several snakes including a diamondback rattle snake, a copperhead, a python, a king snake and others.
Thousands of outdoors enthusiasts turned out for the second day of the expo to enjoy everything from Vandeventer's snake shows to fishing lessons.
Vandeventer said he wanted to make sure he disproved a few misconceptions about snakes during his shows.
Winstead said he enjoyed Vandeventer's show, especially the part where he was asked to come on stage. He said he has always loved snakes and used to have a red tail boa as a pet.