By Jason KUROSU
Crescenta Valley Park, usually a draw for families on Saturday afternoons, drew a congregation of a different breed this past Saturday. For the majority of this afternoon, the park’s recreation center was the gathering place for insect enthusiasts and any other curious parties for the Xtreme Inverts Bug Expo. Insects were on display, both for sale and for observing (and touching for the courageous).
Xtreme Inverts (as in invertebrates) is the brainchild of self-described hobbyists Celeste Satter and Francisco Torres who hope someday to open a retail bug business under the same name. The expo was the first local bug expo put together by Satter, Torres and other members of the Southern California Arachnid, Bug, Invertebrate, Entomological Society (or S.C.A.B.I.E.S., an acronym which Satter characterized as the kind crafted by “a bunch of 20-something-year-old guys”), but not the first expo ever for them. The group has put on similar shows at schools and for nonprofit organizations and also participated in the 25th Annual Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum in May.
“We want to reach out to people with these shows and expose them to insects and other types of pets,” said Torres. The hoped-for pet store would feature and sell more unconventional pets than those of the dog and cat variety, namely insects, but also other animals such as reptiles.
The expo was the first of four “local” shows, the intention being to bring out members of the community. The remaining three expos are planned for Santa Fe Springs, Arcadia and South Bay.
“We want to get our people and our events out to parks and places where people can come and share in the love of the hobby and also so we can educate,” said Torres, speaking on the advantages of the local shows.
The group will also be participating in Cal Poly Pomona’s Pumpkin Fest in October as part of the fest’s Insect Fair.
For more information on Xtreme Inverts and/or S.C.A.B.I.E.S., visit www.xtremeinverts.com and scabies.myfreeforum.org.