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Discover Monarch butterflies at local festival

It’s time to dust off your wings to attend this year’s Monarch Migration Festival. Rain or shine, the festival is a free and fun learning experience for all ages.

Every autumn the North American Monarch butterfly migrates south to Mexico to avoid cold weather and hibernate. In the spring it returns to lay its eggs. The cycle then continues. Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed and while their numbers have dipped in recent years, Illinois and Galesburg have helped do their part to save the Monarch as well as other pollinators.

The 8th Annual Monarch Migration Festival is a free event that will take place on Saturday, September 10 at the Lakeside Nature Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It is a community collaboration sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists, City of Galesburg Parks and Recreation, and the Knox County Farm Bureau.

This year, visitors will have the opportunity to rotate through educational stations that will include learning about the life cycle stages of the Monarch, migration information, tagging live adult Monarch butterflies, butterfly, pollinator, and milkweed inspired crafts, and a butterfly release each hour. 

The educational stations will be "inside the fence" and will require pre-registration due to space and supplies being limited. Walk-ins are welcome to attend activities and booths that will be "outside of the fence."  If space is available "inside the fence," walk-ins may be accommodated on a first come-first serve basis.

“Inside the fence” registration can be found at Please register the number of family and friends that will be attending in your group. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Wendy Ferguson. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

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