Montana's longest-running exotic animal expo makes a stop in Helena

Reptile Universe
Posted at 7:55 AM, Jun 24, 2024

HELENA — Turtles, lizards, and snakes are just some exotic animals you can expect to see at the Big Sky Reptile Expo.

"People that are afraid or think they're gross are just uneducated by them," said James Dvorak, the owner of Big Sky Reptile Expo.


His experience with exotic animals started when his kids wanted a pet dog.

"I said, 'Why don't we get something that doesn't bark,'" Dvorak said.

Snakes for sale

Now, he has owned the expo for six years.

This year is the first that it has been in Helena, making it the first time in roughly a decade that Helena has had an exotic animal expo.

Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds

Big Sky Animal Expo is the longest-running exotic animal trade show in Montana.

Snake skin

Dvorak said, "We've worked super hard to make sure we have lots of education, have grown it, and tried to help the reptile community. Believe it or not, Montana is a little behind the times when it comes to reptiles and an industry like that."

The expo in Helena has over 20 vendors, such as Shane's Spiders, Montana Axolotls and Exotics, and Reptile Universe.


During the expo, Dvorak performs an educational and comedic kids' show called James of the Jungle.

James of the Jungle

"Just being around [reptiles] in general, you learn more about them [and] how they are going to react to you," he said.

Crowd feeling turtle

Big Sky Reptile Expo at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds ends on Sunday at 4:00 PM.

Little boy at the show

The expo's next stop in Montana will be in Bozeman from August 3rd through the 4th.

You can find more information about Big Sky Reptile Expo here.