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Dade City celebrates Monarch Butterfly Festival October 23

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on October 7, 2021

Monarch butterflies and family fun will take center stage at the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival on Saturday, October 23, 2021. The Festival will be held at Hibiscus Park (7th Street & Bougainvillea Avenue) from 10 am to 3 pm and is being presented by the Dade City Garden Club and the Dade City Youth Council.

In 2018, the garden club became concerned about the diminishing number of Monarch butterflies and partnered with the City of Dade City to increase awareness on how to help this iconic insect. Created as a celebration of the City’s commitment to becoming a Monarch City USA, the festival will feature environmental educators, informational booths, presentations, native plant sales, vendors, and hands-on activities for the kids!

Visitors will be able to view live displays of butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalis while learning about the life cycle of the butterfly and will see firsthand how to get their butterfly garden certified as a Dade City Monarch Butterfly Haven.

Mini-presentations and other informational exhibits will address how using Florida Friendly principles helps in creating a butterfly garden, why community gardens are a valuable resource, where one can visit on Florida’s Nature Coast to see butterflies in their natural habitat, and how to kick your butterfly garden up a notch by creating your own butterfly puddler.

Joining the Dade City Garden Club, the Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, and the Pasco County Master Gardeners for the first time this year will be Pasco County Florida Friendly Landscaping, Pasco County Recycling, and Pasco County Animal Services.

Visit the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival October 23

Shoppers will have their desire satisfied at the event’s eclectic market.

A plant sale will feature a large assortment of milkweed and native plants as well as other perennials, annuals, shrubs, and garden art and accessories. The “Growing Friends Plant Sale” presented by garden club members will feature a limited number of cane begonias named “AYA” by the Begonia Society of America at a very affordable price.

A variety of other vendors will present a unique shopping opportunity with everything from home décor items to handcrafted products to jewelry, and more.

Kids’ Zone features Arts, Crafts, and An Adventure with Miles the Butterfly

Miles the Butterfly will lead children on an adventure, emerging from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. Image courtesy of Dade City Garden Club.

Throughout the day the Kids’ Zone will offer arts and crafts, games, and this year’s special attraction—An Adventure with Miles the Butterfly! Children will be able to emerge from being a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly by taking a fun, educational trip.

Miles, who will flutter over to Hibiscus Park from his usual home at the Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum, will teach his travelers about who he is, where he comes from, and other cool facts about his home and family along the way. Completely this trip with Miles will earn the young travelers their “wings”!

Hugh Embry and New River Libraries are teaming up with the Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum and Miles in the Kids Zone to provide these fun activities as well as share information about their library programs. Families won’t want to miss this memorable experience.

Delicious food including BBQ pork sandwiches and Mexican food with beverages will be available for sale throughout the day.

Butterflies & Dragonflies book by Lillian Cucuzza to be unveiled at the Monarch Butterfly Festival

Lillian Cucuzza, renowned photographer and author will introduce her newest Photo-Book: “Butterflies & Dragonflies – A Photo Collection of God’s Unique Creation” for the first time at the Monarch Butterfly Festival.

Lillian is the featured photographer and author for HIS Creations, LLC, a Christian photo-art and crafts online store. She has authored three photo books and published a children’s book.

Lillian’s work is regularly published in The Laker/Lutz News, and her photo-art is displayed in Out of Our Hands Art Gallery in Dade City, Florida. The book signing and sale will take place in the Kids’ Zone near the Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum.

Opportunity Drawings to win a Backyard Retreat and other Beautiful Garden Prizes to be Held throughout the Day

The Dade City Garden Club is offering opportunity drawings in conjunction with the celebration. Proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards underwriting the costs of the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival and the educational and environmental mission of the Dade City Garden Club’s Monarch Project.

The members of the Dade City Garden Club have put together the Grand Prize by accessorizing a beautiful, handcrafted outdoor chair decorated with sunflowers and Monarch butterflies to create the perfect Backyard Retreat. Prize includes the chair, butterfly plants, glass birdbath with metal stand, Florida Butterflies identification book, drink holder, insulated tumbler, hand-painted birdhouse, a hummingbird feeder, shepherd’s hook, a tote bag filled with birding coffee table books, and a bag of Lanky Lassies’ Shortbread!

To enable the public to get in on this fabulous drawing even if they can’t attend the festival, tickets will be available at Peterson Insurance Agency located at 37837 Meridian Avenue, Suite 102 in Dade City until Friday, October 22.   Other unique handcrafted items will also be offered at the event and winners need not be present to win.

Monarch Festival theme is that Everyone can Make a Difference!

The ongoing theme highlighted throughout the day is everyone can make a difference! Municipalities, community groups, and even individuals can help save the iconic Monarchs by taking a few simples steps.

Dade City becomes a Monarch City USa
Mayor Camille Hernandez and a crew of celebrants erect the Monarch City USA sign in Dade City, 2019. Image courtesy of the City of Dade City.

Through our collective efforts, our community can help all pollinators, improve our environment, and make Dade City a better place to live, play and work.

The Dade City Garden Club and the Dade City Youth Council thanks our awesome sponsors:  MONARCH LEVEL—Lanky Lassie Shortbread, Jennifer Merchant Realtor/Dennis Realty; CHRYSALIS LEVEL—The Canadian Medstore, Tom Parks/Nye Commercial Advisors, Rocycle and TECO Energy. CATERPILLAR LEVEL—Bob Larkin Construction, Edge Law, Meridian Title and Peterson Insurance. EGG LEVEL—Julie Hale and Spivey Karate/Tai Chi. MILKWEED LEVEL— Pat Carver, Marilyn Graves, Hepscher Family, Vicki Merchant. Our media sponsors are The Laker News/Lutz and NatureCoaster.com.

For more information, visit www.dadecitygardenclub.com.

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