Authentic Antioch

Mayor Larry Hanson Charms the Snakes

Animal handler Jon Heidler coiffs mom Christine Nichols with an iguana named 'Iggy Azalea' while her son, Broden, 5, far right, exhibits his incredulity.

Animal handler Jon Heidler, right, drapes Antioch's mayor Larry Hanson with the latest in reptilian fashions during the Mother-Son Luncheon and Exotic Animal Show.

Animal handler Jon Heidler, draped with a red-tail boa named 'Rhonda' walks amongst the audience at the Mother-Son Luncheon and Exotic Animal Show.

It was a special afternoon for attendees of the Mother-Son Luncheon and Exotic Animal Show
held at the Antioch Senior Center, 817 Holbeck Dr., Antioch, on Sunday, March 5.

As a counterpoint to the Daddy-Daughter Dance held last month, mothers and sons were afternoon dates at the third annual event which was sponsored by the Antioch Parks and Recreation Department. The event required two seatings to meet the demand for tickets. After a feast of pizza, salad, ice cream, and cookies, attendees were entertained with Dave DiNaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles.

The audience for the first seating had an added bonus when Mayor Larry Hanson, who earlier admitted he had no particular fondness for snakes, stoically “modeled” three of the reptiles including a reticulated python (“Kredz”), a red-tail boa (“Rhonda”), and a 50-pound, 14-foot-long ball python (“Cleopatra”). Ball pythons of Cleopatra’s size are able to consume a whole pig. They can grow to over 200 pounds with the ability to swallow a whole deer.

Reports that Mayor Hanson attempted to register the three snakes to vote in the April election later proved to be false.

After the performance, moms and sons had the opportunity to pet one of the reptilian performers.

For more information on the Traveling World of Reptiles, call 888-SLITHER (888-754-8437). For more information on future Parks and Recreation events, visit their website at or call 847-395-2160.

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