Spiders, Centipedes, Scorpions to Invade Downtown Riverside

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - The Riverside Metropolitan Museum's celebrated ``Insect Fair'' is scheduled today, featuring an assortment of creepy crawlers for people to see, touch -- and possibly taste -- on the downtown plaza.

The UC Riverside Department of Entomology, in partnership with the museum, is staging the fourth annual event outside the museum, on Mission Inn Avenue, between Lemon and Orange streets. Several thousand people are expected to visit the exhibition.

Insects considered parasites and pests, as well as others consumed as delicacies in some parts of the world, will be available for visitors to check out.

This year's bug fest will feature Dr. Zoolittle of the San Diego Zoo, who will host the ``Zoolittle: Icky, Yuck, Gross Bugs'' show, the highlight of which is an interactive display.

Previous fairs have included bug chefs, who have whipped up culinary delights and frights loaded with ants, grasshoppers, centipedes and scorpions.

According to organizers, there will be giant stag beetles, bird-eating tarantulas, swallowtail butterflies, palm-sized grasshoppers, praying mantises and other insects.

Entomology students and professors, as well as ``animal ambassadors'' from the Palm Desert-based Living Desert Zoo, will be available to answer questions -- and put visitors at ease.

Grade school students interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and math -- STEM -- careers will be invited to participate in a variety of activities, organizers said.

Several dozen vendors will be on hand, selling books, treats, plants, extermination supplies and other items.

The exhibition is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More information about the fair is available at https://www.facebook.com/AnnualRiversideInsectFair/

Photo: Getty Images

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