Eighth Annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival Saturday

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There will be magic in the air at the eighth annual Butterfly Festival on Saturday, June 25, as Friends of the Garden merges two events into one. Missouri native butterflies will take center stage, including presentations on the Monarch butterfly and tours of the Roston Native Butterfly House.

Amy Short and Steve Craig are volunteer "adopters" in the Caterpillar Cafe next to the Native Butterfly House at the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Otherwise, they perform magic as the "Fishin' Magicians" during the Butterfly Festival Saturday, June 22.

Amy Short and Steve Craig, both volunteer “adopters” in the Caterpillar Cafe examine some of the host plants consumed by voracious caterpillars on their way to becoming native Missouri butterflies.

Please join Friends of the Garden, Master Gardeners, Ozarks Living Magazine and a host of other organizations and vendors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for this family friendly event with magic shows by Steve Craig and Amy Short at 11a.m. & 1 p.m. In addition, Steve will share his magic while strolling through the crowds at 9:30 a.m. and Noon. Both are actively involved as “adopters” of the Caterpillar Cafe adjacent to the butterfly house.

At the same time,Young Sprouts will again lift the spirits of children through fascinating displays, presentations, face painting and the Caterpillar Petting Zoo. This year, financial support is greatly appreciated from Dan & Susan Cardwell, Hogan Land Title Co., Ruth Arneson and the City of Springfield Environmental Services.

FOG is expecting more than 3,000 visitors and a record number of butterfly-friendly vendors and organizations with educational and interactive exhibits.

Amy Short and Steve Craig and friends "adopters" of the Caterpillar Cafe next to the Native Butterfly House at the Springfield Botanical Gardens. During the festival, they perform magic as the "Fishin' Magicians."

In one life, Steve Craig and Amy Short will perform magic as the “Fishin’ Magicians” throughout the Butterfly Festival (9-3 Saturday, June 25). In the other,  they are Friends of the Garden volunteers who tend the Caterpillar Cafe adjacent to the Native Butterfly House at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

At 2:30 p.m., there will be the drawing for the three butterfly and insect quilts now hanging in the Atrium at the Botanical Center. Tickets are $ 5 or $ 20 for five tickets.

Two classes for adults and young adults will be offered in the workshop at the Botanical Center. At 10 a.m., Renae Bernskoetter, Master Gardener, will discuss “Beneficial Insects.”

At 11 a.m., Rebecca Nickols will discuss wildflowers and host plants for native butterflies, as well as garden design and what butterflies you can attract.

Last, but not least there will be the costume contest for young pollinators in the meeting room at the Botanical Center for thos 10 yearsoled and younger who will be outfitted as butterflies, caterpillars, and pollinators. After judging, they will parade along with Monarch Butterfly costumed models from the Springfield Fashion Designers Society from the Botanical Center to the Butterfly House.

The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden will be open without charge (normally it’s $3 for non-FOG members). More than 100 volunteers will be on hand to help the activities run smoothly.

Also upcoming: the first Teddy Bear Picnic from Noon-2 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, with children again taking center stage, this time presented by the Springfield/Greene County Park Board.

Later this summer, visitors are invited to enjoy the 21st Annual Japanese Fall Festival in the Mizumoto Japan Stroll Garden for three days of cultural entertainment, Friday through Sunday evening, Sept. 9-11.

The following week: the 2016 Gray/Campbell Farmstead Expo will offer a realistic look at pioneer living on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18, including tours of Liberty School.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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