Oddities and Curiosities Expo Returns Saturday

Erica Hobbs
Special to The Detroit News

Metro Detroit is about to get weird. The traveling Oddities and Curiosities Expo returns to Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace Saturday for a day of unusual antiquities, dark art, Halloween items and more.

“It’s a mix of a horror convention, a Halloween convention and dark arts,” said Michelle Cozzaglio, who owns the expo with her husband, Tony. “It’s all based on the weird.”

The weird includes taxidermy, preserved animal specimens, original artwork, horror/Halloween-inspired pieces, antiques, handcrafted oddities, quack medical devices, creepy clothing, odd jewelry, skulls/bones and funeral collectibles. They’ll be available for purchase from more than 150 vendors from around the country, about half of which are local. 

Attendees will also be able to enjoy performances from the Tender Box Circus Side Show with acts like sword-swallowing, walking on glass and human pin cushions.

Attendees will also be able to enjoy performances from the Tender Box Circus Side Show with acts like sword-swallowing, walking on glass and human pin cushions. 

“It’s the weird stuff you think of when you think of a freak show carnival,” Cozzaglio said. 

Though the event is dark, Cozzaglio said it’s not necessarily scary nor overtly sexual, describing the show as PG/PG-13. She said the expo can be for anyone and draws people from a large demographic, though parents should use their judgment on what they think is best.

“It can pull in people who are truly interested in collecting oddities or art, or it can pull in people who are just interested because it’s weird and they love Halloween,” she said. “We think it’s important to have something weird for everyone there.”

The event will also include a day-long taxidermy class where students will learn to make their own “jackalope,” a rabbit with antlers. The beginner-level class is not for the squeamish. Participants will work with frozen rabbits and learn the basics of taxidermy, including skinning and preserving the pelt. Cozzaglio emphasized that all the animals in the taxidermy class and other parts of the show – like preserved specimens – were sourced ethically and died naturally.

Though COVID-19 restrictions have mostly lifted, Cozzaglio said their floor plan still allows for social distancing, and booths have high draping between them. Extra air will be pumped into the space to increase circulation and hand sanitizers will be placed throughout. Masks are required for those who are unvaccinated, though Cozzaglio recommends them for everybody. 

The Oddities and Curiosities Expo showcases taxidermy, preserved speciments, Halloween-inspired pieces and more strange objects.

The traveling show started in 2017 and made its first visit to Detroit in 2019. It was supposed to held in Grand Rapids – Tony’s hometown – but the couple was convinced to move it to Detroit instead, where Cozzaglio said they had tremendous success. Since the 2020 was canceled due to COVID, this will be the event’s second visit, and they hope to return to Metro Detroit annually. 

The Oddities and Curiosities Expo will take place Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace at 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or in advance at www.odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com; children 12 and under are free. The taxidermy class will be Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with breaks built-in for lunch and exploring the expo. The class is $210 and available to those aged 16 and up, or younger with parental approval. 

Oddities and Curiosities Expo

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday

Suburban Showplace

46100 Grand River Ave., Novi

Cost: $10, children 12 and younger get in free; $210 for taxidermy class for people age 16 and older or younger than 16 with parental approval.

visit www.odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com