Insects and the fascinating world of bugs will take center stage from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, when the fifth annual Bug Fest is held at Lippold Park and Red Oak Nature Center.
The free, family-friendly event will feature fun and educational activities with a swarm of bug-related activities, demonstrations and crafts. In addition to Lippold Park and Red Oak, the event will utilize the one-half mile stretch of the Fox River Trail that connects the two facilities.
Visitors can begin their exploration at either Red Oak or Lippold; both sites will have free guide books available, along with T-shirts, books and snacks for sale.
Parking is available at either Lippold or Schneider Elementary School (304 Banbury Road, North Aurora), with free shuttle buses running regularly between those sites and Red Oak. However, the Red Oak parking lot will offer handicap parking only.
Children and adults alike will learn about the benefits of bugs and the important roles they play such as pollinating plants and flowers, aerating the soil and serving a major role in facilitating the food chain for humans.
“Bugs hold a bit of intrigue for everybody, and they’re often misunderstood,” said Red Oak naturalist and facility supervisor Margaret Gazdacka. “They’re actually pretty amazing creatures that play a huge role in nature.”
Red Oak will feature free presentations (10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon) by Tony the Bug Whisperer, who will lead audiences like the pied piper into jokes, stories and horrifyingly hilarious pranks.
Local beekeeper Harry Patterson will be at the Predator Pavilion to discuss how bees make honey and explain their important role in nature. Various varieties of honey will be available for sale.
In the shelter at Lippold, Terminix will have an extensive bug exhibit at its “Insect Zoo,” with a host of displays and insect collections, including cool bug artifacts. Professor Marvel’s Amazing Flea Circus and Magic Show will stage its self-titled “smallest show on Earth” at 10 and 11 a.m. under the big tent.
Subway will be on site at Lippold selling small sandwiches, chips and drinks. Transactions are cash only.
For more information on Bug Fest, visit www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org or call Red Oak at 630-897-1808. Guidebooks and coloring sheets can be downloaded from the website as well.
SOURCE: Fox Valley Park District