Join the Panhandle Butterfly House in celebrating the amazing journey of the monarch butterfly. The 11th Annual Monarch Madness Butterfly Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, October 20 - 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 8581 Navarre Parkway in Navarre Park just west of the Navarre Bridge.
Visitors can enjoy strolling through the vivarium - a screened structure housing hundreds of butterflies and the plants they love. Children can learn about the life and biology of the monarch butterfly by unraveling the mystery of monarch migration. Children are invited to grab a Monarch Madness passport and take flight to Monarch Waystations to solve the mystery. The Panhandle Butterfly House is a certified Monarch Waystation with Monarch Watch, an educational, conservation and research organization at the University of Kansas.
Children, ages five and up, and adults will be able to tag and release a monarch butterfly for a $5 donation. "Tagging of monarch butterflies at this event benefits research at the University of Kansas that investigates the geographic origins of monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of the migration, the mortality during migration, and changes in geographic distribution," said Mary Salinas, UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County Agent.
Other features include:
- Butterfly-related educational crafts
- Interactive games
- Self-guided monarch migration tours through outdoor butterfly garden
- Butterfly-themed treasures for sale at the Monarch Market and Butterfly Bazaar
- Dynamic educational displays.
- Advice on lawns, landscapes and gardens from the Santa Rosa County Master Gardeners
- Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, snacks and soft drinks for sale by Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 - proceeds benefit local charities
Only through the generosity of visitors is the Panhandle Butterfly House able to provide the community with this wonderful outdoor science lab. Admission if free but donations are encouraged. Monarch Madness is brought to you by the Panhandle Butterfly House with help from the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office, as part of the 14th Annual Beaches to Woodlands Tour.
All programs and related activities sponsored for, or assisted by, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are open to all persons with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. For persons with disabilities requiring special accommodations, please contact the Santa Rosa County Extension Office at (850) 623-3868 at least five working days prior to the program.
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Monarch butterfly photo provided by Jennifer Hugus, labeled for reuse.