Gabrielle Turner

(Fort Mill, S.C.) — Snake enthusiasts, young and old, turned out to the River Place in Fort Mill to see hundreds of unique snakes, reptiles, amphibians, birds and bugs at the “Show Me Reptile & Exotics Show,” which is touring the country.

This was the fourth time the show visited Fort Mill in the past year.

Organizers say the show gives people a chance to see the exotic animals up close.

“Yeah a lot of people are scared of snakes,” Jim Ward, a vendor at the show, said. “We get we get a lot of people that come in scared of snakes and leave not so scared of snakes. Then pretty soon they’re buying snakes from us later. So that’s pretty cool.”

Ward and his wife Anna own and operate two businesses that deal with snakes, including Color Crazed Constrictors and Next-Level Displays.

Next-Level Displays
Jim and Anna Ward took their hobby collecting snakes and turned it into a business with their specially designed snake enclosures (photo: Gabrielle Turner).

The couple from Zeeland, Michigan travels the country with the “Show Me Reptile & Exotics Show,” showing off their collection of more than 400 snakes.

“That led us into designing that (Next-Level) display case that they’re in and being able to do all the racks and cages too. So it’s all become from a small hobby to now it’s our full time business,” Jim Ward said

The show will make stops in Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Iowa, Tennessee and Missouri over the next 10 days before Christmas.