Soar over to KWEC’s Butterfly Festival

All things “butterfly” will be the focus of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center’s (KWEC) Butterfly Festival from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 16.

From magic shows to tagging monarch butterflies, kids and adults will find plenty to do during this free event. New this year, “Butterfly Magic” – a puppet magic show performed by the Fishin’ Magicians, Steve Craig and Amy Short – will explore the mystery of the butterfly life cycle through magic, puppets and humor.

“We’re excited to have Steve Craig and Amy Short present their unique brand of humor and magic during the festival this year,” said Curtis Wolf, KWEC site manager.

The Fishin’ Magicians will perform three 30-minute shows at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m., sponsored by the Grace Van Skike Memorial and Landmark National Bank.

After filling up on laughs, visitors can grab a net and tags to help capture and tag butterflies. Participants will receive information about the tagging process before heading out with a tagging leader to search for monarch butterflies. Over the past two years, 13 tagged monarchs released from KWEC have been recovered from winter roosts in Mexico.

Weather permitting, an exhibit beehive will be on display in the insect zoo, in addition to giant walking stick insects, hissing and peppered cockroaches, butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises.

Kids can play in the mud, make a seed bomb filled with soil and native flower seeds, channel their inner insect by taking a photo at the monarch butterfly and caterpillar photo boards and dress-up area, and create caterpillar and butterfly crafts in the classroom.

Plan to spend the morning, as door prizes will be presented around noon, along with free milkweed plants (one per family). Information on butterfly-friendly plants will be also available, along with examples of butterfly-friendly plants in the KWEC pollinator garden.

Light refreshments and drinks will be provided.

For more information on this event, contact the KWEC at 1-877-243-9268 or visit