The Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival is BACK! Our sixth annual Festival unfolds with multiple events this year throughout October.

Festival day occurs  Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Confluence Park.


You’ll learn about the monarch butterfly migration, the importance of the wildlife pollinators that make one out of every three bites of our food possible, and our special connections to Canada and Mexico.

Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival

COVID protocols: For in-person programs, please pack masks as you head to Festival events. Even at outdoor events, you may find yourself unable to maintain a safe, six-foot social distance. Please wear your mask when you are closer than six feet to others. Festival staff are fully vaccinated, but we ask that you wear your mask when you are interacting with exhibitors, presenters, artists, and festival-goers.

THANK YOU for working with us to keep everyone safe!

Monarch butterflies move through Texas each fall on their way from Canada to the Mexican mountains. In this year of recovery, we’ll celebrate the spiritual aspect of the migration. For centuries, perhaps millennia, the butterflies’ generally return to Mexico in time for Day of the Dead in early November. Their arrival has been associated with the souls of loved ones who died and.

As a gesture of hope and healing, all butterflies tagged this season will carry the name of someone who died, as they take flight on their Forever Journey. Last year, TWO of our tagged butterflies tagged in honor of loved ones were recovered in Michoacán.

If you’d like us to tag a butterfly in honor of a friend, family member or loved one, please provide details here.

Special thanks to our friends at the San Antonio River Foundation and all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers for making this year’s Festival happen.

See you there!

Upcoming Events

2020: A Metamorphosis


Remember 2020? We couldn’t gather in person last year so we partnered with Walley Films to make a brief movie chronicling the challenging year through the lens of the migration and the metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly.

The 23-minute film follows the monarchs from Mexico on their journey north to Canada and back in October. You’ll appreciate the parallels between the monarchs’ struggle to continue their life cycle and ours, as we all morph to the next stage. Watch it on YouTube.

Pollinators Make it Possible

For the month of October, Pearl is proud to honor pollinators and their role in our local food ecosystem. Throughout the month, be on the lookout for farmers market produce and menu items made possible by pollinators at select Pearl restaurants along with signage to showcase pollinator friendly landscaping.

Forever Journey: a Celebration of our Loved Ones


Each fall, monarch butterflies arrive in the high altitude forests west of Mexico City in time for Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos. We’ll honor this tradition by tagging hundreds of butterflies in honor of loved ones who died. The names of loved ones will be entered on the data sheets sent to citizen science project Monarch Watch with the hope that the butterflies are recovered in Mexico. Earlier this year TWO of the butterflies tagged at our 2021 Festival were recovered. Read their story here.

Sponsored by HEB

Thursday, October 14

Bexar Audubon Society Presents Special Online Program: A Talk with Jonathan Meiburg

6:30 PM via Zoom


Join this live zoom event to hear all about Jonathan Meiburg’s book A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey. Meiburg will discuss his findings and passion for the caracara, a bird in the falcon family. He makes a compelling case for embracing this hemispheric raptor, which scavenges dead animals and attacks and eats live prey in equal measure. The caracara is also known to steal hats, play games, and distinguish toys and colors. More details and the zoom link can be found here.

October 11-15

BiblioTech Public Library: Monarch Butterflies


Join all San Antonio BiblioTech Library branches for a celebration of the monarch butterfly October 11 – 15.  Participants will create a small craft representing the life cycle of the butterfly. More information here.

Friday, October 15

River Restoration Ride

5:30 PM & 7:30 PM at Confluence Park

$10 Attendance Fee

San Antonio BCycle and the San Antonio River Authority are leading an exploratory jaunt along the San Antonio River. Steven Schauer will explain the restoration project and how it affects the migrations of pollinators and Lee Marlowe will point out the native plants found on the river that assist pollinators in their migrations. And Michael Gramley will point out the various activities you can enjoy thanks to the river restoration project. $10 Registration fee will be donated to the San Antonio River Foundation. Register here.

Saturday, October 16

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

9:30 AM – 2 PM at Confluence Park


Get your wings on for our sixth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival!

Festival day takes flight with a People for Pollinators Parade beginning at 9:45 AM. We’ll be tagging monarch butterflies for citizen science in honor of loved ones all day long, kayaking the beautiful San Antonio River and offering myriad educational events and family fun by our education partners.

Full schedule and map here

Wednesday, October 27

Cocktails and Culture at the Witte Museum

7 PM – 9 PM

Come discover the nature, science and culture of pollinators found throughout Witte Museum! From the Cretaceous to today, pollinators continue to play an important role in the natural world and in cultures around the world. Come celebrate these important creatures at the final event of the 2021 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival. Tickets available here:  Cocktails & Culture: Pollinators at the Witte | The Witte Museum.

Presented by the Witte Museum 

Caterpillar Condos for Classrooms

A “caterpillar condo” will be awarded to 60 Title-1 classrooms throughout San Antonio on September 13 following a monarch teacher training on September 11 at Confluence Park. The condos–a pop-up cage, milkweed plant, monarch caterpillar, and tag for citizen science activity–will be accompanied by Blooming with Birdie’s hands-on, TEKS aligned, virtual curriculum. Students will learn about the monarch, metamorphosis, migration, and citizen science.

Second grade students will observe the life-cycle of the monarch’s metamorphosis as it morphs from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, then tag and release the butterfly to join the migration in October.

Applications are now closed.

Sponsored by Valero

Saturday, October 2

Pollinators in the Garden

9 AM – 11 AM at the Wildscape Demonstration Garden


Walk through the Wildscape Demonstration Garden at Phil Hardberger Park and talk with the gardeners to discover how you can incorporate native plants into your garden. See live honey bees in their home, participate in bee arts and crafts, and more! This event will be fun for the whole family.

Thursday, October 7

A Conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist

6 PM at Legacy Park


Save the date for this hybrid event, A Conversation with Katharine Hayhoe, Climate Scientist, streamed and projected at Legacy Park.

Hayhoe will discuss her new book, Saving Us: A climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World with Brendan Gibbons, environmental journalist for the San Antonio Report. Sustainability oriented programming, including hands-on pollinator plant making, live composting, and a rain garden demo will be followed by TPR’s streaming Summer Night City Series for those who want to gather. Food and drink available from Pinkerton’s BBQ. Others can join virtually.
6PM Doors and activities begin, 6:15PM movie screening of 2020: A Metamorphosis, 7PM A Conversation with Katharine, 8:15PM TPR Summer Night Series. Register here.

Saturday, October 9

Works of Art with Pollinators: an Educator Workshop

9 AM – 12 PM at Confluence Park


This training session will share pollinator themed classroom activities with an emphasis on art and music with K-12 teachers. Educators can expect hands-on activities, lessons, and advice—and earn three State Board of Education Credits. The event will be hosted at pollinator friendly Confluence Park.  Register here.

Sponsored by the San Antonio River Authority

Saturday, October 9

Garcia Street Urban Farm Tour

9:30 AM – 12 PM


Join the Garcia Street Urban Farm team for tours of their pollinator gardens to learn how to “partner with pollinators” for high-production gardening and food production. One-hour tours start promptly at 9:30am and at 11am.

Wednesday, October 13

Pollinators 101: Class with Rainbow Gardens

10 AM & 1 PM at Rainbow Gardens Bandera

$10 Attendance Fee

Join Rainbow Gardens for their Pollinator 101 Class! Come out and learn the do’s, don’ts and how-to’s of pollinator gardening. After the class, there will be a short Q&A before heading out to the pollinator garden to see the butterflies in action. There will be helpful hand-outs and seeds for all. All participants must register to attend. Register for 10AM.  Register for 1PM. 

Wednesday, October 13

Pharm Table Apothecary Kitchen

7 PM – 10 PM at Pharm Table

Join Chef Elizabeth Johnson for the Apothecary Cocktail Program, celebrating pollinators. The evening will feature unique drinks such as the Butterfly Kiss, which includes a combination of Lemon, Basil, Honey, and Mezcal. Pharm Table will be donating $1 from each drink purchased to the Texas Butterfly Ranch, allowing us to continue to spread awareness and understanding of pollinators and the ecosystems that sustain them and us. Book your reservation here.

Interested in Sponsoring the Festival?

You’ll find details here.


San Antonio River Foundation
John & Florence Newman Foundation
San Antonio River Authority
San Antonio City of Gastronomy

Katy and Ted Flato

San Antonio City of Gastronomy
San Antonio Water System
The Witte Museum
The Pearl

Steve and Marty Hixon

Michelle Jacobson

Jane Bockus

John Mize


In-Kind Sponsors


Bexar Audubon Society * Bexar County Master Gardeners * Compost Queens * Eco Centro * Garcia Street Farm * Lake Flato * Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter * Rainbow Gardens  *  Southern Wildlife Rehab * The Nectar Bar *  Trinity University * UTSA * Witte Museum *  Yoga Day