Today is day 3 of the largest event in Brandon each year - the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. It's an event that appeals to all ages and offers many different types of entertainment.
Crowds have been solid the first two days and tonight, for fiddle fans, one of the few remaining competitions each year will take place with the Royal fiddlers contest scheduled for the evening.
Something that appeals to a different group has also been popular. Tatiana and Curt Fraser joined the fair this week with their unique home-based 'pet store', Fraser Reptiles, wowing their audience with geckos, frogs, and other creepy-crawlies, the critters that make many uncomfortable but kids LOVE! Fair warning, your children will be able to do more than just gaze longingly at the creatures from the other side of the glass, they'll be able to hold them!
Tatiana Fraser says their exhibit is definitely a hands-on experience.
"We are actually letting people hold some of these reptiles and pet some of them. They're not all just being looked at through the glass case," shares Tatiana.
This week the Frasers have been answering a host of questions from those who not so squeamish about creatures that crawl and who might be considering a reptile as a pet.
"We love talking about which one of these make great family pets, so we talk about their care, and also about where they come from in the world, and their different adaptations and requirements," she explains.
Curt and Tatiana started their reptile business back in 2015 after purchasing their home in the rural municipality of Tache to move Curt's growing collection of critters, joined with Tatiana's collection of Colombian Rainbow Boas, Leopard Geckos, and Ball Pythons. The business grew, as did their collection!
From their home in Ste. Genevieve, they bring out an assortment of reptiles, arachnids, and other small animals to community events, customer appreciation days, or festival and fairs, like the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon this week. Visitors at their booth are invited to get up close and personal and learn more about these critters that the Frasers are so passionate about.
Settling on which animals to bring to the Royal Fair was a tough decision, says Tatiana. "We decided that we would look at having something from everywhere in the world because we have animals from all the different areas, so we wanted just a sprinkling of variety! This is our first time at this show and we're really excited to be here," adds Tatiana.