Butterfly Festival takes flight Saturday
Thousands of butterflies will take flight during the annual Butterfly Festival at the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens, Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Area students have been carefully tending cages of caterpillars and the waiting will soon pay off as beautiful Painted Lady butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, ready to be released at the festival.
The day will begin with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. atop the EmilyAnn’s hill featuring the posting of the colors by the Veterans Memorial Plaza Flag Team and Lehman High School ROTC followed by a moving memorial release of butterflies.
“One of my favorite moments of the festival is the memorial release honoring lives lost," Executive Director Ann Rolling said. "Join us this year as we remember the 26 lives lost at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church and the 17 lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We'll continue with those we've lost from our community this year and the children who are remembered at the Children's Memorial Plaza. It’s a special time.”
The festival offers a variety of games, crafts, nature activities, live entertainment and of course butterfly releases throughout the day. Kids will enjoy the princess tea party and pirate tents, both featuring costumed characters. A guided drawing activity will give aspiring artists of all ages an opportunity to create butterfly art. Nancy's Flight House will be held in the EmilyAnn’s new greenhouse, which will provide a larger space for visitors to observe Texas native butterflies.
Event sponsors Seton Medical Center Hays, Locktite Storage, Brookshire Brothers and Southwest Dermatology will host a “Healthy Living” area featuring fun giveaways and healthcare information. The Wimberley Lions Club will provide free vision screenings. Festival partners, Hays County Master Naturalists, will be on hand with a variety of nature activities including an aquifer simulator. Dance, music and theatre groups will perform throughout the day.
Awards for this year’s Butterfly Art Contest will be presented at 12 p.m. in the Burdine Johnson Studio Theatre. The Artist of the Year, Sterling Moore, from Frisco, Texas, who won Best in Show in last year’s contest, will be at the festival signing the T-shirts that feature her artwork.
Parking for this year’s festival will be at Wimberley High School and Danforth Jr. High. Overflow parking will be available at Lion’s Field – Market Day Lot 1 on FM 2325 with shuttles running continuously through the day. Admission to the festival is free, but donations are appreciated. Concessions, including barbecue plates, will be for sale. Games and crafts cost $2-4 or wristbands, enabling visitors to participate in all activities, will be for sale at the festival and in advance on the EmilyAnn’s website.
“Come out to the EmilyAnn for a day of family fun and help make our annual fundraiser a success while experiencing the magic of the butterfly,” Rolling said.
The butterflies will fly rain or shine. The EmilyAnn is located at 1101 FM 2325. For a schedule of activities and entertainment, visit www.emilyann.org.