TUALATIN, Ore. (KOIN) — Many exhibitors that would normally be at county fairs, rodeos and 4-H events are at a huge Tualatin church parking lot for what’s being called a drive through animal tour.
This drive-thru zoo is based on the same concept as the Christmas Festival of Lights at Portland International Raceway. There are 27 different animal types set up so you can see them up close without having to get out of the car.
There’s an alligator named Bubba that Brad Tylman of Brad’s World of Reptiles brought to the Horizon Community Church in Tualatin.
“This is a rescue animal and we have a couple aligators that are super tame,” he said.
This is one event that hasn’t been canceled.
“We’ll be trying to live on borrowed money and liquidate things and try to survive but we’re already booked for 2021 so I’m optimistic,” Tylman said. “This venue here is kind of a creative way to show how people can get out make money and get creative and not put people at risk.”
Beyond Bubba the alligator, there are camels named Jehrico and Eddie roaming the surroundings, tortoises and talking exotic birds who will love you for your food.
Ticket proceeds will go to the many exhibitors whose regular county fair, school event, rodeo and other appearances have been canceled because of the coronavirus.
It’s also something to do that many cloistered families have been missing — entertainment outside their homes.
“You’ve got kids that aren’t going to school, they don’t have anything to do and we want to give them something positive to look forward to,” said Dean Sweeney. “We wanted to do something safe that families could feel good about doing.”
There will also be a less exotic but just as fun-to-look-at parade of regular 4-H animals — longhorns, no horns, squealing little pigs.
You can’t get out of the car. It’s drive-thru only. But it’ll be a taste of regular life for a change in a world that has far less regular in the past several months.