Dubbed as the “butterfly capital of the world” by USA Today, the National Butterfly Center in Mission will host their 25th Butterfly Festival with a community day on Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors are invited to comes see for themselves why the City of Mission is a hotspot for butterflies.
Did you know nearly 150 species of North American butterflies can be seen only in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas, or by traveling to Mexico? In fact, more than 300 species of butterflies may be found in the LRGV, and more than 200 species have been seen at the National Butterfly Center, including a number of rarities and U.S. records.
Renowned for a volume and variety of wild, free-flying butterflies that cannot be found anywhere else in the country, deep south Texas is home to the country’s premier butterfly event, featuring field trips and educational activities for beginners to experts, private gardens and guided hot spot tours, the North American Butterfly Contest, and a free community day full of fun for everyone.
The festival provides attendees with a remarkable and rewarding outdoor experience. Registrants will spend three days exploring renowned public lands and private properties with world-class trip leaders, where they might reasonably expect to see more than 60 species in a day.
Two years ago, attendees from 24 states and three countries registered to experience one of the most biologically-diverse areas in North America, with the assistance of expert guides. Come see for yourself why the Rio Grande Valley has earned worldwide recognition for its outstanding butterfly and birding spots, inviting thousands of visitors each year to discover its remarkable assortment of preserves, refuges, nature parks, trails and more.
Whether you are an accomplished naturalist or a beginner enthusiast, the Texas Butterfly Festival is the place to be. Here, many eyes make for exciting discoveries, including U.S. records, super rarities, subtropical strays, seldom-seen species, ‘life’ and chase butterflies that may only be found in the LRGV, where the river winds its way toward the Laguna Madre at the Gulf of Mexico. This unique region encompasses no fewer than 11 different types of habitat, from the tidal wetlands to riparian forest, brushland scrub to prairie savanna, and is home to more than 1,200 different species of plants, 500 species of birds, 200 vertebrate species, roughly 300 species of butterflies, and over 90 species of dragonflies.
The community day will give attendees the opportunity to make their own banana brew, attend ‘Butterfly U’, enjoy arts and crafts and more. Vendors and exhibits will be set up in the visitor’s pavilion and in the gardens for all to enjoy. The center is located at 3333 Butterfly Park Drive.
Organizers are excited to be able to gather again; to have the commitment of quality guides; and to enjoy the outdoors, safely, for the love of butterflies. The excursions are scheduled for October 30 through November 2, with registration packet pickup on October 30. For a full schedule of events, or to register, visit their website at https://www.texasbutterflyfestival.com/festival-events/schedule.
Due to the increased risk of liability and increased cost of sanitation for this event that will bring people from all over the country together, the price per person for tours for the weekend will now be $575. There will be a discount incentive for those that are fully vaccinated.
To provide a safer environment for tours, registrants will belong to cohorts that will stay together for all three days of excursions. All cohorts will go East, West and In-Between, so choose a cohort based upon the area you wish to see first, to accommodate your travel plans. Specific destinations will be determined based upon scouting reports a week or so prior to the festival. Guides will choose their cohort based upon their preferences and schedules. There will be no vans – all registrants must have their own ground transportation or negotiate carpooling with other registrants.
Each year, the National Butterfly Center provides engaging environmental education programs to thousands of children in the LRGV. The proceeds from the festival support these high-quality, conservation programs and provide scholarships to very low-income students and schools. The free community day is just one more way in which the center is “Growing Connections” between people, plants, and the Winged Wonders that make our world so colorful.
If you would like to be a sponsor or volunteer, call (956) 583-5400.