Florida Museum plans full weekend of activities for ButterflyFest Oct. 22-23

October 4th, 2011

Editor’s note: Complete activity, workshop schedule follows

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Discover the importance of pollinators at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s sixth annual ButterflyFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 22-23.

Festival visitors may enjoy free presentations on area hummingbirds, bats in the Caribbean, the practice of eating insects and hear keynote speaker and Harvard lepidopterist Naomi Pierce.

An outdoor children’s area will provide younger visitors the opportunity to stay active while participating in fun, educational activities about pollinators.

“The new outdoor children’s activity area is going to be a great place for children to learn about butterflies and different pollinators while playing games and interacting with each other,” said Florida Museum education assistant Amanda Erickson.

A three-day plant sale beginning Friday, Oct. 21 features more than 100 species of accent, host, native and nectar plants, with museum employees and volunteers available to offer advice on butterfly gardening and plant selection. Visitors may also enjoy free activities like butterfly bingo, crafts, costume creation, a pollinator parade and more.

Area nonprofit organizations scheduled to offer engaging activities include the Alachua County Beekeepers Club, Lubee Bat Conservancy, Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo and the Southern Lepidopterists’ Society.

Area groups on the activity schedule include the Howard Bishop Middle School Band, the University of Florida juggling club Objects in Motion and the Isle of Skye Highland Dance Studio.

The museum will also offer a behind-the-scenes tour of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and a “Picture Perfect: Rainforest Photography” workshop. Pre-registration is required for both activities.

The behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors into the research areas to see one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths. Participants must be 8 or older. The cost is $40 for museum members and $45 for non-members.

“Picture Perfect-Rainforest Photography” allows participants to take pictures in the Butterfly Rainforest using tripods or other photography equipment not usually permitted in the exhibit. Participants must be 18 or older. The cost is $25 for museum members and $28 for non-members.

Keynote speaker Pierce plans to discuss her research proving Vladimir Nabokov’s theory that Polyammatus blues originated in Asia and traveled to North America via the Bering Strait. She also proved that this group of butterfly species arrived in North America in five separate waves.

Admission to the museum and ButterflyFest presentations and activities are free. There is an admission fee for the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

Food, merchandise and other vendors may charge for their services. The museum does not have an ATM, so visitors are encouraged to bring cash if they would like to purchase items from vendors. Rainforest admission may be paid via cash, credit card or debit card.

ButterflyFest is sponsored by The Gainesville Sun and Cox Communications.

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Source: Amanda Harvey (Amanda Erickson), 352-273-2062, aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu

ButterflyFest Activity Schedule
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 21-23

Fri. Oct. 21
10 a.m.-5 p.m. -Plant Sale

Sat. Oct. 22
8:30-9:30 a.m.
-Picture Perfect – Rainforest Photography (fee)
-McGuire Behind-the-Scenes Tour

10 a.m.-5 p.m.
-Plant Sale
-Pollinator Costume Creation
-Butterfly Hop
-Bean Bag Toss
-Nonprofit Organization Family Activities
-Sack Races
-Pollinator Challenge
-Vendors

10:30-11 a.m. -Pollinator Photography Contest Award Ceremony

11 a.m. -Gainesville Suziki Players

11:30 a.m. -Pollinator Parade
-Butterfly Bingo

12:30-1:15 p.m.
-The Butterflies and Moths of Japan: Japanese Culture, Collecting and Research

1 p.m. -Butterfly Release

1:30 p.m.
-Keynote Speaker Naomi Pierce: Nabokov’s Blues: Cradle-robbing, meat eating, and ant-loving caterpillars
-Isle of Skye Highland Dance Studio

2 p.m. -Pollinator Parade

2:30 p.m.
-The Sedoctaves
-Butterfly Bingo

3:15-4 p.m. -Moon Tan: Exploring the Patterns of Distribution of Caribbean Island bats

3:30 p.m. -Butterfly Release

Sun. Oct. 23
8:30-9:30 a.m.
-McGuire Behind-the-Scenes Tour (fee)
-Picture Perfect – Rainforest Photography (fee)

10 a.m.-5 p.m.
-Plant Sale
-Pollinator Costume Creation
-Butterfly Hop
-Bean Bag Toss
-Nonprofit Organization Family Activities
-Sack Races
-Pollinator Challenge
-Vendors

11:30 a.m.
-Pollinator Parade
-Butterfly Bingo

1 p.m. -Butterfly Release

1:30 p.m.
-Objects in Motion
-Hummingbird occurrences around Gainesville – beyond the Ruby-throated

2 p.m. -Pollinator Parade

2:30 p.m.
-Howard Bishop Middle School Band
-Butterfly Bingo

3:15-3:45 p.m. -Entomophagy

3:30 p.m. -Butterfly Release

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