2017 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival October 20-22

The Texas Butterfly Ranch is proud to present the 2017 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, three fantastic days of science, education, art and celebration.

The  Festival takes place during peak Monarch migration week in San Antonio, October 20 -22, when all the Monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains funnel through Texas on their way to Mexico to roost for the winter.

Our theme this year: Butterflies without Borders.

We extend special thanks to our Keystone Sponsors, The Pearl, HEB, San Antonio River Authority, the John and Florence Newman Foundation and the Rivard Report for their support in making the second annual Festival possible. Gracias!

The schedule below will continue to evolve, so check back for updates as we continue to add events and sponsors to the weekend.  Want to become a sponsor? Send us a message.

Friday, October 20th 

The Monarch Migration in our Changing Climate                                                      6PM- 8PM, Pearl Stable                                                                                           Tickets on sale in September. $15 – $25.                                                                                                 Butterflies know no walls, but recent changes in our political landscape have created divisions throughout the Monarch butterfly corridor. Meanwhile, temperatures throughout the continent continue to escalate to unprecedented levels, year after year. What do these political and atmospheric changes bode for pollinator advocacy, the Monarch butterfly migration in particular?

Climate Change and the Monarch Butterfly Migration

2016 Symposium: Climate Change and the Monarch Butterfly Migration. L-R, Monika Maeckle, Cuauhtémoc Saenz Romero, Cathy Downs, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

Join us for a lively and timely discussion with panelists from Mexico, the U.S and Canada that will explore the intersections and consequences of politics and pollinators, including

  • Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch,
  • Elizabeth Howard, founder of Journey North
  • Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, Director of Scientific Communcation at the Ministry of biodiversity in Mexico  (CONABIO), and
  • Louise Hénault-Ethier, Director of Science, the David Suzuki Foundation, Montréal.

Moderated by Dan Goodgame.

For more information and speaker bios, see the Symposium page. Tickets go on sale in September.

Underwritten by the Mexican Cultural Institute and Trinity University

Saturday, October 21st  

TEACHER WORKSHOP: The San Antonio River: A Crucial Pollinator Pitstop with Elizabeth Howard of Journey North 
San Antonio River Authority
10 AM – 12 PM, FREE to teachers 
A teacher workshop that will teach educators how to use Monarchs in the classroom will be lead by the founder of Journey North, a wildlife migration tracking and citizen science initiative. Stay tuned for details and registration details for qulaified teachers. 

Underwritten by the San Antonio River Authority  and the Texas Butterfly Ranch

San Antonio Botanical Garden
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, FREE with admission 
Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch, will offer a a brief talk on the life cycle and migration of Monarch butterflies, followed by a tour of the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s pollinator garden.

Underwritten by the San Antonio Botanical Garden

BUGS FOR LUNCH? with Louise Hénault-Ethier, entomophagy expert
Witte Museum
10:00 AM – noon, FREE with admission, but you must register

Cricket flour polenta

Cricket flour polenta topped with tempura fried veggies. YUM. Photo by Monika Maeckle

Entomophogy, the eating of insects as food by human beings, will be explored in this interesting session hosted by Hénault-Ethier, an expert in the subject, who joins us from Montreal.  The event will

include a hands on workshop where participants will learn to build their own insect farm and get a chance to to taste some bug based food. FREE with Musuem admission. Stay tuned for registration details.

Underwritten by The Witte Museum and the Texas Butterfly Ranch 


Atravesando Fronteras/Crossing Borders: Art by Luis Moro, Opening reception
Mexican Cultural Institute
Our partners at the Instituto will present the artwork of Mexico City based artist Luis Moro. A reception will follow the opening. Rumours on the street: insects will be featured on the tapas menu. FREE to the public.

Sponsored by Mexican Cultural Institute 



Sunday, October 22
The Pearl

9:30 AM – 2 PM FREE
The second annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival takes flight at the Pearl with a People for Pollinators Parade led by the Pedaling Pollinators Butterfly Bikes, Monarch

Last year’s Festival drew 7,000 to the Pearl. Photo by Scott Ball, Rivard Report

butterfly tagging demos, mass butterfly releases, education, food, music and fun.  Costumes encouraged! The parade kicks off at 9:30 AM. Mass butterfly releases will take place at 10:30 and 12:00.

Sponsored by The Pearl, H-E-B, San Antonio River Authority, the John and Florence Newman Foundation, the Rivard Report, and Texas Butterfly Ranch. 

Underwriters: Greenhaven Industries, Trinity University, Mexican Cultural Institute, San Antonio Botanical Garden, and the Witte Museum.