Millions of people visit festivals each year to celebrate everything under the sun.  This weekend, we’re the special guests at Bug Blast, happening at the Burke Museum in Seattle. This annual festival allows you to get up close and personal with rare and intriguing specimens (alive AND dead), talk to entomologists and enthusiasts, and even try some delicious insect treats!  There is something for everyone – even for people who aren’t bugdorks (yet).  We’re doing four presentations with our live arthropod zoo.  It’s an honor to be a part of such a cool festival.

This got us thinking about all the incredible insect festivals that happen all over the country, all year long.  If you’re like us and tend to hear about many of these festivals after the fact, here’s a list to keep in mind for those of you who are really interested in bugs.  (We snuck in an international event as well – just in case you’re in that neck of the woods…)

Arizona Insect Festival

Student Union, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, September 15, 2012, 9-7pm

Bug Fest

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh NC, September 15, 2012, 9-7pm

Bug Blast

Burke Museum at University of Washington, Seattle WA, September 16, 2012, 10-4pm


Butterfly Pavilion at University of GA, Athens GA, September 24, 2012, 9:30-12:30pm

Insectapalooza Insect Fair

Cornell University Department of Entomology, Ithaca NY, October 20, 2012, 9-3pm

L.A. Bug Fair

Los Angeles Natural History Museum, Los Angeles CA, May 18-19, 2013

Insect Festival

Yorkshire Museum Gardens and Hospitium, York, England, July 7, 2013

Bug Bowl

Purdue University Department of Entomology, West Lafayette IN, April 13-14, 2013


If you’re in the south, EntoBlitz (put on by Texas A&M University’s Entomology Graduate Student Organization) is a great way to get into collecting insects.  Learn from professors, grad students and extension agents about different collection techniques and tricks for insect identification.  This event usually takes place in April, so if you’re interested in taking part, check the EntoBlitz website next year for the 2013 dates.

Hungry for a new picnic experience?  The Bug Festival is held each summer at Zilker Park in Austin, TX.  This insect-centered potluck is a great way to meet new people and try out new foods.  If you’re in the area next year, Google for the festival date.  It’s a popular event and we’re sure you’ll find something delicious there!

If you’re thinking about studying entomology and want to meet the people who do it professionally, check out any of the regional Entomological Society of America (ESA) meetings held throughout the year all over the country.  It’s a fun way to learn about the latest research, geek out with fellow bug lovers, and get a feel for what it’s like to be an entomologist.

We’re sure we’ve missed some, so if you have an insect festival you love, please let us know in the comments!


Original post can be found on Science Friday.