Bug Fest 2016 logo

When: Saturday, June 25th; 10:00AM - 3:00 PM

Where: Hilltop Garden & Nature Center 2367 E. 10th St. on the campus of Indiana University, Bloomington.

What:  Bug Fest is a celebration of insects and their relatives.  Designed for children of all ages, from 1 to 101, the mission of Bug Fest is to educate the public about insect and spider biology. Guest lecturers will share their knowledge of dragonflies, butterflies, spiders, and other topics, plus there will be information tables on a variety of subjects, including pollinators, garden insects, forest pests, public health, and live insect displays. Activities will include insect crafts, mealworm races, cricket spitting, insect games, story telling, and more! A display of student art with an insect theme is also planned. Free Admission!

Who: Scheduled speakers include Reni Winter (Milkweed for Monarchs); Dr. Peter Scott, Indiana State University (pollinators); Sandy Belth, Monroe County Parks and Recreation (Insect Biology); Tom Swinford, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Prserves (dragonflies), and more to be added soon!

Cost: Free! However, a donation of canned fruits or vegetables to go to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard would be greatly appreciated. The flowers of many of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by insects, so these foods would not exist without the aid of insects. Donation bins will be available at the entrance to Bug Fest.

For more information: Contact the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service at 812-349-2575.

Bug Fest is a collaboration of Monroe County Parks & Recreation, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department, Hilltop Garden & Nature Center, Sycamore Land Trust, Sassafras Audubon Society, The WonderLab Museum, and the Purdue University Extension Office.


Remember, most of our fruits and vegetables are pollinated by insects! 

Speaker Schedule:

Time Topic Details
10:30 – 11:15

Reni Winter

Milkweed for Monarchs

Creating Summer Northern Habitat Learn how to create your own monarch butterfly habitat from long-time monarch conservationist Reni Winter-Evans.
11:30 - 12:15

Tom Swinford,


Ferocious predators and powerful fliers, dragonflies have changed little over millions of years. DNR expert Tom Swinford will show you how to identify dragonflies, and describe their unique stream and wetland haunts. He will also provide an overview of dragonfly biology and conservation.
 1:45 – 2:30

Sandy Belth,

What Makes an Insect an Insect?

Insects have an amazing ability to inhabit niches all over the globe. Learn about the biology and physiology of insects, what characteristics make a fly a fly, a beetle a beetle?


11:00 – 11:45


Iona, Isabel, Emily, Holli and Layla Burnfield
11:45 – 12:30


Cindy Kallet & Grey Larsen
12:30 – 1:15


Zack Moon with Grey Larsen & Cindy Kallet
1:15 – 2:00

Mbira Queens

Zimbabwean Marimba

Event Patio Tent

11:00 – 11:30

Joe Lee,

Flea Circus

An imaginary journey into the world of fleas for children of all ages.
11:45 – 12:15

Stephanie Holman & Ginny Richey

Stories on Six Legs

Stephanie Holman and Ginny Richey of the Monroe County Public Library and Bloomington Storytellers Guild will entertain children with insect-themed stories.
12:30 – 1:30 Dr. Tom Turpin What's for lunch?  So how do insects taste?  Let your taste buds discover what many other cultures already know:  Insects can be tasty!
1:45 – 2:15

Flea Circus

An imaginary journey into the world of fleas for children of all ages.
2:15 – 2:45

Insect Safari

2:45 Cricket Spitting Contest on lawn near exit