Some things have to be seen to be believed, and the Oddities & Curiosities Expo has plenty of that.
From human skulls to strange antiques, this show has something for collectors and the curious. The traveling expo returns to Albuquerque for its second year on Saturday, March 7, in the Lujan Building at Expo New Mexico.
“The vendors we have are from all over the country, and really, they have all things weird,” said event co-founder Michelle Cozzaglio. “Skulls, bones, taxidermy, horror- or Halloween-related items, strange antiques, artwork, jewelry, we really try to have something strange for everyone. So even someone who is, like, ‘I don’t collect specimens or skulls,’ you know, they can find some art or jewelry, something like that.”
The Albuquerque show will feature about 130 vendors.
“As we’ve gotten bigger, people kind of seek us out,” Cozzaglio said. “We’ve gotten pretty well known across the nation, so whenever we announce a new city or whenever we’re returning to a city, we have a lot of people who travel with us to all of this. So a lot of our Albuquerque show, I would say it is half and half. People that are traveling from out of state that come to a majority of our shows, and then the other half I’d say the people are local to New Mexico.”
Attendees can pause from perusing vendor booths and be awed by the sideshow entertainment. Performers include Finnegan’s Circus, a three-man comedy circus troupe that specializes in classic American circus sideshow entertainment. The performance takes on classic circus theater such as sword swallowing, bed of nails and the human blockhead. Byran Lambe will entertain with magic, comedy and more. Albuquerque magician and mentalist Jordan Jones will showcase the bizarre side of magic, inspired by his fascination with the occult and the macabre, according to the event website. Performance times and more information about the performers are available on the event website.
Eventgoers can partake in body suspension throughout the day. Body suspension is commonly done by rigging a person to hang from implements that have been placed through temporary perforations in the skin. Suspension starts at $125, and participants must be 18 or older to participate. For a less intense experience, body piercing, which varies in price, will be done.
Michelle and Tony Cozzaglio have been putting on similar strange events for a few years.
“We had our first show in our hometown of Tulsa back in 2013, I think it was,” Michelle Cozzaglio said. “So we’ve always been doing little markets and little get-togethers for people who are into music or different things in general, so it’s kind of how it came about, just myself being into a different culture and being into strange and unusual items, and it really just kind of blew up. I never thought it would be as big as it is now, but it has kind of become my full-time job, and there’s a great community within the oddity scene, so it just came together.”