The seventh annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, a month-long celebration inspired by the monarch butterfly during its peak migration season in San Antonio, takes flight this October.
The FREE festival returns this fall with more than a dozen events that culminate in a live celebration at Brackenridge Park October 8, 10 AM – 2 PM.
The family friendly celebration salutes science, community, art and education and includes monarch butterfly tagging demos, a Forever Journey altar built by local artist Terry Ybañez, a story walk, a hands-on monarch butterfly migration obstacle course, native plant and tree adoptions, and dozens of educational booths and vendors.
The Caterpillar Train will kick off the celebration. With help from MP Studios, the beloved San Antonio Zoo locomotive that many San Antonians will recall riding as children, has been recast as a distinctive black-white- and yellow-striped monarch butterfly caterpillar. The train will roll through the park for an inaugural ride at 10 AM on Festival day October 8, followed by a People for Pollinators Parade. Participants are encouraged to “get their wings on.”
“Brackenridge Park is thrilled to host the 2022 Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival,” said Brackenridge Park Conservancy Director of Development and Special Events Lynn Osborne Bobbitt. “The Park means so much to the people, plants and animals in this city so we look forward to being a home to free and fun educational events like this.”
“Just as San Antonio sits in the heart of the migratory flyway for monarch butterflies and other wildlife, Brackenridge sits in the heart of our city. It makes for an ideal roost for this year’s Festival,” said Monika Maeckle, Festival founder and director of the Texas Butterfly Ranch.
She added that forecasts for this year’s monarch butterfly migration, which is already underway, are sobering. “Between the late freeze and the scorching drought, the monarchs will be tapping their resilience this season,” she said.
Since its founding in 2016, the Festival’s goal has been to raise understanding and appreciation of the insect pollinators that make one of every three bites of our food possible, underscore our inherent interconnectedness, encourage the use of native nectar and host plants in gardens and landscapes, and reinforce San Antonio’s strategic role in the monarchs’ annual migration as the First Monarch Butterfly Champion City in the nation.
The Festival was celebrated for four years at the Pearl, went virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic, and last year took flight at Confluence Park. Each year thousands turn out for Festival day and many more enjoy virtual and live events throughout what has become “Pollinator Month” in San Antonio.
The Festival is made possible by the generous support of the The Brackenridge Park Conservancy, the John and Florence Newman Foundation, the Winkler Family Foundation, the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation, San Antonio River Authority, SAWS, San Antonio Creative City of Gastronomy/WHO, the San Antonio Zoo, Rainbow Gardens, Pollinatives, Brush Country Photo Safari, CPS Energy, and Katy and Ted Flato. In-kind supporters include MP Studios, Douglass King Seeds Company, and the DoSeum.
Check the Texas Butterfly Ranch Festival page for a complete schedule of this year’s events.