SAN ANTONIO – The fourth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival was announced in early September.

  • Happening October 12-20
  • Multiple venues, dozen events
  • 10,000 attendees last year

The festival lands in San Antonio October 12 – 20. It will be a weeklong celebration of science, citizen science, art, and education.

It all unfolds during peak monarch migration season in the nation’s first Monarch Butterfly Champion City, declared by the National Wildlife Federation in 2015.

Multiple venues will host a dozen events, including educational workshops, movie screenings, public forums, an art opening and even an edible insect lunch.

“The community has embraced our mission to tap the charisma of the monarch butterfly and its migration to increase understanding and appreciation of the insect pollinators and other wildlife that make one out of every three bites of our food possible,” said Festival Founder and Director Monika Maeckle.

October sees the passage of millions of monarch butterflies through what’s known as the Texas Funnel. The butterflies make an epic journey south from Canada, through the U.S. and on to the Mexican mountains where they roost for the winter.

READ MORE | Monarch Butterfly Population Drastically Increases in Texas

The festival finale takes place on Sunday, October 20, at Pearl with a People for Pollinators Parade. There will also be several educational pieces to inform people on other unique insects and animals part of the ecosystem.

 “We’re expanding our education efforts beyond monarch butterflies,” said Maeckle, adding that the monarch butterfly serves as a “gateway bug” to the understanding of bees, bats, and the critical roles of underappreciated wildlife in the ecosystem. “Few people realize that bats make tequila and mezcal happen, or that bumblebees pollinate tomatoes and peppers.”

More than 10,000 people attended the 2018 festival, which unfolded over three days and included half a dozen events.

For the full schedule of events, visit the Texas Butterfly Ranch Festival page.