Flights of fancy
Tricentennial tourists aren't the only ones flying into San Antonio this weekend. Fall is the prime migration season for the monarch butterfly, and Alamo City is floating out the third annual Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival in celebration.
Running from October 19-21, the festival cocoons itself throughout downtown San Antonio for three days of science, educational, and art activities, says a news release.
This year's keynote session, Butterflies Without Borders, takes place on October 19 beginning at 11:30 am. The timely panel discussion "will explore the intersections and consequences of politics and pollinators, climate change and border walls, native plants and pesticide."
Other butterfly-centric activities include "MONARCHS: Brown and Native Contemporary Artists in the Path of the Butterfly," an art exhibition at the Southwest School of Art which runs now through January 6, 2019.
Educators are invited to head to the San Antonio River with Karen Oberhauser, founder of Monarch Joint Venture and director of the Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin, for an interactive lesson on how to bring butterflies into the classroom.
Considering they are the festival namesake, monarchs are the stars of the show, however the festival also celebrates other pollinators. Bats take center stage on October 19 during "Holy Mezcal, Batman!" The evening is focused around bats, and particularly how the winged creatures pollinate agave, the key ingredient in tequila and mezcal. Enjoy a spectacular photography exhibit, an educational bat talk, and sips of mezcal, of course.
The weekend ends with the ultimate flight of fancy: a parade on October 11. Enjoy monarch butterfly tagging demos, educational booths, and family-friendly activities which culminate in a high noon butterfly release at Pearl Park.
Most of the Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival activities are free and open to the public, but check here to see if registration is required. Some events, including a bug lunch and certain workshops, are priced between $10-$25. Tickets for Butterflies Without Borders are $55 and can be purchased here.