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Bugfest offers buggy good time for all
PICAYUNE -- Families and school groups can learn about some of Mississippi’s insects and their plant companions during the annual Bugfest Sept. 26 and 27 at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.
The two-day, hands-on event offers children and families an opportunity to collect and identify insects found throughout the arboretum grounds. Special events are an in-depth lesson on beekeeping Sept. 26 by Extension Bee Specialist Jeff Harris and a video presentation on fun facts about insects and other arthropods on Sept. 27 by Extension Entomology Specialist John Guyton and Bug Camp attendees.
Other educational experiences include tree identification hikes and visits to the pitcher plant bog.
“This is one of our most popular events every year,” said Pat Drackett, arboretum director. “Last year we had more than 1,000 people attend. It is a lot of fun for kids of all ages.”
A staffed insect identification and mounting station will be available during the entire event. Participants can make entomology-based crafts and play games on The Buggy Midway.
Insect collecting activities will be open to school and homeschool groups on Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Groups with more than 20 people should schedule an arrival time by calling the arboretum at 601-799-2311. On Sept. 26, admission is $2 for students and free for teachers, chaperones and bus drivers until 6 p.m.
The general public can participate in night collecting and the Buggy Midway from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 26. Bring a flashlight or headlamp.
Bugfest is again open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 27. The Buggy Midway will be open until noon. The New Orleans Audubon Institute’s Bugmobile will be on hand in the afternoon. Attendees can see insect demonstrations and collections, pet bugs, exhibits and more.
Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children after 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 and all day Sept. 27.
For more information and to download an insect collecting manual, visit the arboretum’s website at http://www.crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu.