Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Thousands celebrate monarchs at 2017 Monarch Festival

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Article and photos by JILL BOOGREN

Thousands gathered under sunny skies near the Naturescape of Lake Nokomis on Sept. 9 for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca. The annual event celebrates the 2,300-mile journey of monarchs from Minnesota to Mexico, through art, music, dancing, and food. The festival also teaches visitors about the butterfly’s life cycle and the importance of growing monarch habitat—milkweed and native flowering plants—for their survival. The festival is hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab and the U.S. Forest Service.

2017 Monarch Fest 03Photo left: Mina Leierwood, from Powderhorn, decorated her bike for her first visit to the Monarch Festival. She will be part of a monarch butterfly migration shanty on Lake Harriet this winter, inside of which will be a re-creation of the forest in Mexico (those interested in participating can reach Leierwood at Emerson School).


2017 Monarch Fest 06Photo right: Alice Thueringer from Northrup decorates a bright orange pennant at the Minneapolis Institute of Art tent.





2017 Monarch Fest 05Photo left: A goal of the festival is to raise awareness about the importance of growing monarch habitat. Vendors, like Minnesota Native Landscape (staffed here by Ridge Campbell), had plenty of monarch-friendy native plants for sale so people could grow monarch habitat in their yards.


2017 Monarch Fest 04Photo right: Dancers of Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue dance “for the butterflies and our families.” “Comme les mariposas—like the butterflies—we come for safety and a better life,” the group leader told the huge crowd assembled.



2017 Monarch Fest 02Photo left: Tara Fahey, upper right, and Dylan McDonald, next, lead the costume parade through the festival. Fahey, from Powderhorn, is with Chicks on Sticks. McDonald, from Cooper, learned stilts in a class with Art Start.




2017 Monarch Fest 01Photo right: The always-popular Monarch Education tent, under the guidance of the U of M Monarch Lab, teaches visitors about the monarch life cycle. Butterflies with tracking tags, like the one shown here, are then released outdoors, where they’ll feast on nectar to fuel up for their long flight south. Over 150 butterflies were released throughout the day.

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