Right now the front desk of the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji is covered in craft supplies. One of our volunteers is threading elastic through holes punched in butterfly wings that children will decorate and then be able to wear during the Bee & Butterfly Festival Friday, Sept. 2.
There are also odd-shaped felt pieces that will be put together to form an adorable bee that kids can fly around by holding a wooden dowel. Round pieces of cement sit outside the Butterfly House waiting to be painted and sealed before becoming colorful stepping stones in the Pollinator Paradise garden. Bee shapes were printed on yellow paper to be cut into finger puppets, and clothespins have magnets glued on and will become butterfly refrigerator clips.
However, the crafts are just a small portion of the fun going on during the Bee & Butterfly Festival this year.
The crafts stations will be open 4-7 p.m. in the outdoor tent at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and you can also visit with a variety of vendors including:
Stop inside the nature center 4-7 p.m. and tag a monarch butterfly, then take it outside to release it. You will even get to keep your butterfly’s tag number to keep track of it through the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch Program.
Head down to Pollinator Paradise to explore outdoor gardens, see exhibits on butterflies, bees, and native plantings or play outdoor lawn games like bee and butterfly giant Jenga, ladder golf and pollinator bean bag toss.
Bring your camera to get a photo with Sweetie the Bee and also receive a free treat from her.
Door prizes will be given out throughout the event, and the Farm to Fork food truck will also be on site with delicious dinner offerings.
The Iowa State University Insect Zoo will hold a program with live creatures at 5 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater, and don’t miss Marlene Boernsen’s honey extraction demonstration at 6 p.m. in the lower level of the nature center.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, magician Nathan Nassif promises to wow his audiences when he headlines the festival. His magic show begins at 7:15 p.m. in the outdoor amphitheater, and he will enthrall all ages, from children to adults, with close-up tricks using coins, cards, and everyday objects. He may even bring you from the audience to help him.
We love pollinators, and we want all ages to come to out to this free event to experience the fun and educational opportunities the Bee & Butterfly Festival features.
For more information on the Bee & Butterfly Festival or other nature center offerings, visit www.dickinsoncountynaturecenter.com or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.