If you’re a lover of the strange, unusual, & bizarre—you’re going to want to check out The Oddities & Curiosities Expo when it rolls into Indianapolis on Saturday, April 23, and sets up at the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ West Pavilion.
Billed as the first and original traveling oddities event showcasing vendors with “all things weird,” The Oddities & Curiosities Expo is the brainchild of Michelle Cozzaglio and her husband Tony. We asked Michelle to share more about why she started the business venture, what she’s learned along the way, and what macabre delights Hoosiers can expect if they attend.
You and your husband Tony are the owners of “The Oddities & Curiosities Expo.” Why did you decide to start the Expo?
Tony and I have been organizing offbeat events since 2013—mainly events involving punk and hardcore music. As a collector of strange items myself, I thought it would be fun to organize an event catering JUST to the strange and unusual. Honestly, I could have never thought it would blow up into what the Oddities & Curiosities Expo is today!
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since embarking on this business journey?
Take it slow and take time for yourself. What we do is incredibly difficult and can be really stressful. You can never please everyone … but we try to! It’s a lot of work to maintain a safe and comfortable space for attendees to shop, while also providing our vendors with the opportunity to be successful. We are constantly learning ways to improve and be better.
What is the most surprising thing that has happened on your Expo tour so far this year?
At this rate, I would just have to say the fact that things are going smoothly! We had a tough time during 2020/2021 with COVID. We couldn’t work for over a year. It took a while for events to “come back” and it seems like we’re finally in a good spot again. It feels like normal in some ways, and so far anyway, 2022 looks like it could be our biggest year yet.
What is something that you think spectators will be excited to see if they come to The Oddities & Curiosities Expo in Indianapolis?
We are really excited to have a new exhibit with us this year called the “Museum of Marvelous Mutations.” The museum is owned and curated by Rainy Day Revival out of Atlanta, Georgia. The museum has over 40 rare and one-of-a-kind museum-quality preserved specimens that are absolutely amazing to see. It’s very educational and a fun attraction for only $5 in advance or $7 day of show.
What advice do you have for other women who are thinking of trying to start their own festivals or touring expos?
Don’t doubt yourself—go for it. If it’s something you want to do, don’t let anyone get in your way. I absolutely love what I do. I left a job I hated and with the support from my husband, dove in on the Oddities & Curiosities Expo headfirst. Together, we built the expo into what it is today.
Being a woman in this industry can be difficult at times, but you just have to break through the stigma and have confidence in what you’re doing. I’ve even had someone claim people only come to our show because I’m pretty! It definitely couldn’t be the endless hard work or anything—ha! I’m a huge advocate of doing what you love; everyone deserves to love what they do every day.
Tickets to The Oddities & Curiosities Expo are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, and children 12 and under are free. The event is all ages— however, parents are advised to use their best judgment about if their children should attend. Tickets can be purchased here.
It is important to note: All animals in the taxidermy class and other parts of the show—like preserved specimens—are sourced ethically and died of natural causes.
Main photo by Heart & Wild.
Stephanie Groves is the Executive Editor of Indy Maven and she has never been to this expo—yet.
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