Press Release – August 16, 2021

11th annual event staged for Saturday, Aug. 21

AURORA – Somebody say something about the great cicada invasion of ’21, when bazillions of those little noisemakers would emerge in plague-like fashion for a month or so during the spring?

Anybody even see one around here?

If you feel slighted, not to worry. Staff at Red Oak Nature Center has been busy as bees in preparing for its own late-summer swarm, otherwise known as Bug Fest, one of Red Oak’s signature events that’ll be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, rain or shine, at Red Oak and adjacent Lippold Park.

“All the focus has been on the cicadas this summer, but we’ve got these amazing bugs right here, right now,” said Renée Oakley, facility manager at Red Oak. “C’mon down and discover for yourself that there are so many types of bugs in so many habitats right here!”

The 11th annual event, which returns after a one-year absence due to the pandemic, features hands-on activities, games, demonstrations by naturalists, an inflatable obstacle course, raffle, giveaways and more. Admission is $5 for children and $2 for adults, and purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Children will receive a bag of bug-inspired goodies (each containing a $5-10 value) upon admission. Concessions will be sold separately.

“Every child who comes with a pre-purchased ticket is going to be getting a bag full of goodies from the start,” said Christy Graser, environmental education supervisor at Red Oak. “They don’t have to ‘earn’ it, but they can still visit each station and get their stamps.”

Attendees must park at Schneider Elementary School (304 Banbury Rd., North Aurora), where they’ll take a complimentary (and continuously running) shuttle over to nearby Bug Fest.

Bug-themed activities and photo ops abound, and visitors can participate in activities in three habitats, or “investigation stations” – prairie, wetland and woodland.

“You can explore those three areas and see the wonderful world of bugs in a self-guided manner; however, there will be staff members present to provide educational tips and assistance,” Oakley said. “Bug Fest is great for all ages … it’s a way to enjoy nature, look a little closer, and spend time with family – a perfect trifecta.”

Find more information about Bug Fest or purchase tickets here.