Vendors at the 2019 Butterfly Festival. (Photo: submitted by Heather Parker)

Open to the public with free admission, the Friends of the Garden is hosting its 13th annual Butterfly Festival this Saturday.

A line-up of performances, classes and crafts is planned at the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year’s activities include all-day performances at the Peace through People Pavillion with entertainers such as the Princesses of the 417, the Springfield Ballet and the Springfield Little Theatre.

The Dickerson Park Zoo and Wonders of Wildlife will be hosting educational events with live animals throughout the day. Education on conservation and sustainability has always been a key component of this festival, according to Heather Parker, the executive director of Friends of the Garden.

The festival was founded to celebrate the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House located in the gardens. The Roston house is the only butterfly house in Missouri to have native butterflies and be free for the public to enter, according to Parker. The house will be open to walk through and includes a caterpillar petting zoo.

Parker anticipates more people attending the festival than ever before due to the slow fade of COVID-19 which made the event scaled back in the prior year. On average, between  1,000-3,000 people attend this festival, according to Parker.

“We’re seeing a huge success with outdoor events this year,” Parker said. “With a lot of people coming out of COVID, people want to be out and about more.”

Want to go?

Where: 2400 S Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO 65807

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Admission Fee: none

Top Attractions: the Princesses of 417, the Springfield Ballet, Dickerson Park Zoo, and Wonders of Wildlife

Abigail Zajac

Abigail Zajac is a general assignment intern at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She’s currently a sophomore at Missouri State University studying creative writing and sustainability. Zajac is interested in arts, culture and the environment. More by Abigail Zajac