Minneapolis Monarch Festival: Next stop, Mexico

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A few years ago there was this spot on my dog-walking route where about 800 monarchs would be resting on flowers, then flutter their wings in an explosion of color as soon as I walked by. Sadly, these days, my monarch sightings are few and far between. All the more reason to get to the Monarch Festival this weekend.

Yes, there will be monarchs. But there will also be lots of kid-friendly fun, like printing with a steamroller, printing with plants and Art in the Park with MIA. There will be live music, dance performances and yummy food. Plus, Kids Butterfly Fun Runs ($7, includes t-shirt while supplies last) for ages up to 12 with prizes for best monarch costume. And here’s the really cool part: Monarchs raised by the U of M’s Monarch Lab and by local citizens will be released (singly) throughout the day to begin their 2,3000 mile migration to winter in the mountains of Michoacan Mexico. (Go to the Monarch Education tent for a few instructions, and you could be one of the releasers and get word if your monarch is ever found along the migration route.) Get the complete list of activities right here.

Goodbye! Don’t forget to write, little orange friend!

Minneapolis Monarch Festival (FREE!)
Saturday, Sept. 7
10 am – 4 pm

Lake Nokomis Naturescape Gardens
E. 50th Street and E. Nokomis Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55417
(Map/directions here)

Related: Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project: With populations threatened, focus on preserving butterfly habitats (Margo Ashmore, 2013)