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School’s carnival adds cold-blooded show

This picture appeared in the St. Croix County Fair Guide in July 2011 before Monty’s Traveling Reptile Show appeared at that county fair. Now the show is coming to Westside Elementary.

Westside Elementary School’s carnival is back for a third straight year – this time with reptilian appeal -- from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29.

This time carnival organizers say the aim is to raise money to pay off a loan for rebuilding playground areas lost during the school’s roadway reconstruction project last year.

New playground equipment installation, much of it done by volunteers, is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10.

A new attraction for Saturday’s carnival will feature Monty’s Traveling Reptile Show.

MTRS often appears at Midwestern state and county fairs, but is also booked for birthday parties, scouting and sporting events, grand openings and school gatherings.

MTRS has toured for decades. It was formed by Monty Krizan, a self-taught reptile expert who grew up Glenwood City in St. Croix County, attended UW-River Falls, and got a journalism and public speech degree there.

Westside’s Saturday carnival will have three MTRS presentations in a kindergarten room at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Typically these feature an African burrowing bullfrog, alligator snapping turtle, common snapping turtle, black throat monitor (lizard), iguana or tegu, anaconda, Burmese or reticulated python, bullsnake, timber rattlesnake, and American alligator.

Westside’s carnival includes children’s games, silent auction and a raffle. Food and refreshments will also be sold.

For the complete story, see the April 24 print edition of the River Falls Journal.