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The old tradition of packing up the family and going to the local fair is still going strong in Humboldt. That’s right the Best of Humboldt Fair is back at Redwood Acres and it’s been flooded with people of all ages.

There’s classic fair attractions like the carnival — Where you can take your best shot at various carny games in hopes of winning a coveted prize, hop on the zipper or zero gravity if you’re looking for a rush, or take the nostalgic Ferris wheel to gaze at the entire fair from above. Or, you can just throw back some good ol’ fried fair food.

But what’s been pulling the biggest crowds and excitement, is all the animal exhibits and shows! In this LoCO Video Report we talk with the people who take care of these animals year-round and hear about their passion for education and conservation.

Local exotic animal enthusiast Nature Joe is there with his interactive exhibit. He’s got lizards, birds, turtles, and all kinds of snakes — including a huge boa that just hangs out on a branch. The kids really got a kick out of being able to hold the animals.

“I think it’s important for people to have good interactions with animals. It sets a foundation for the rest of our lives,” said Nature Joe. “We deal with animals everyday and to have a good appreciation of how to act around animals, so you don’t get hurt and they don’t get hurt, is really important.”

And then there’s the Pirate’s Parrot Show with Captain Christopher Biro. He fell in love with birds in the 80’s and has worked them ever since. Now he’s got almost 50 parrots and teaches them how to do behaviors and tricks that they perform in the show. However his show is primarily focused around parrot education. And when Biro’s not playing a pirate he’s working on conservation projects to increase populations of different parrots in the wild, like the sun conure.

“They’re actually the ones we’re setting up a breed and release project with,” he says. “We’re partnered with the Smithsonian and Texas A&M on this and we’re setting it up in Guyana. They’re popular all over the world as pets but only 200 remain in the wild. So our goal is to ship some birds there and then breed them and then I’ll be preparing the babies for release so the babies become wild animals.”

Or you can take a Walk on the Wild Side which focuses on animal rescue and preservation, and has mostly exotic wild cats.

And if that’s not enough - Sharks!! Yes you can see them in a massive mobile aquarium and then diver Phillip Peters, even goes swimming with them.

“It’s a 5,000 gallon saltwater aquarium with three nurse sharks, one is almost 7’ tall and the smallest is 3’. It’s an educational show but I try to make it entertaining. I go in there with an underwater mic explaining what I’m doing.”

Peters says he’s taken his show to every state in the country except for Alaska and that he does it for the kids.

So if you’re looking for a unique animal experience, the Best of Humboldt Fair, has got you covered.