Outside of the Buckham Community Center, dozens of folks gathered around a table to see a nearly 6-foot boa constrictor named Larry as it slithered around the torso of a staff member from the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo.

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Jake from the Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo reaches out to the boa constrictor named Larry with one hand while he holds a juvenile alligator named Squirt with the other. In addition to these two cold-blooded creatures, a bearded dragon perches on his shoulder, staying against his neck for warmth. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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Andy Wendt of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources explains the biological function of the fur and skeletons of several animals native to Minnesota. Listening are Meghan Miller, sons, Tegan, 12, and Finn, 6, and daughter, Aisley, 10. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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From left, Rashad Sharif, 5, Safwaan Sharif, 3, Riyan Sharif, 10, Freddy the Falcon, 2, Raqiya Sharif, 7, and Ruweyda Sharif, 8, say cheese for the camera at the Night to Unite event at Faribault Middle School. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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Morristown’s Night to Unite had less bells and whistles, but drew a crowd nonetheless. Volunteers from the local fire department fired up the grill to provide visitors with free hot dogs, baked beans and other backyard-barbecue staples. (Colton Kemp/southernminn.com)

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The Rice County Sheriff’s Department hosted a K-9 demonstration at the Wells Township Night to Unite event. From left, K-9 Riggs, Deputy Kevin Krueger, Sgt. Paul LaRoche, deputies Matt Slinger, Jason Shuda, Bailey Reichert and Sheriff Jesse Thomas. (Photo courtesy of Dave Lenway)

Reach Reporter Colton Kemp at 507-333-3129. © Copyright 2022 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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