dade city monarch butterfly festival

Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival October 22: Learn Ways to Help Save the Monarch

By Guest Author Posted on October 5, 2022

The Monarch Butterfly Festival will be held Saturday, October 22, 2022, at Polly Touchton Park (7th Street & Bougainvillea Avenue) in Dade City from 10 am to 3 pm. Make plans now to visit this family-friendly celebration of helping to save the iconic winged wonders called “Monarch”.

Created in 2019 as a celebration of the City’s commitment to becoming a Monarch City USA, the Monarch Butterfly Festival will feature environmental educators, informational booths, presentations, native plant sales, a variety of 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, presented by the Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation.

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing beautiful butterflies flying free among gorgeous flowers grown specially to feed and nourish these marvelous creatures?

See Butterflies in each stage of their Life Cycle at the Butterfly Education Tent

Join the Monarch Butterfly Festival in Dade City on Saturday, October 22, 2022, to enjoy the full experience! During the festival hours of 10 am to 3 pm, you will be able to learn the full life cycle of local butterflies by visiting the Butterfly Education Tent, brought by the Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation.

  • monarch butterfly caterpillars
  • monarch butterfly pupa
  • monarch butterflies standing on flowers

View live butterflies, caterpillars eating and thriving on their tasty host plants and chrysalides waiting to complete their metamorphosis into an adult butterfly!

Anita Camancho, butterfly expert
Anita Camacho will answer butterfly questions.
Image courtesy of the Dade City Garden Club.

All your questions will be answered by Anita Camacho, President and Founder of Tampa Bay Butterfly Foundation, Inc, and North American Butterfly Association – Tampa Bay chapter along with other volunteers from NABA Tampa Bay.

Adult Butterflies will be Released into their own Butterfly Garden

Near the end of the day, weather permitting, we will be releasing the butterflies near the butterfly garden at the Dade City Garden Club, adjacent to the Festival. We hope you will join us as we send these beauties on their way.

2022 Features Jolley Trolley Rides to and from the Festival

The 3rd Annual Monarch Butterfly Festival is again being presented by the Dade City Garden Club and the Dade City Youth Council. Visitors are welcome to park downtown and hop on the FREE Jolley Trolley to the Festival from 9:30 am to 3 pm, thanks to the support of its generous Trolley Sponsors, Alston Electric and McClain Alfonso P.A.

jolley trolley
The Jolley Trolley will shuttle festival goers to and from Polly Touchton Park in Dade City. Image courtesy of Jolley Trolley.

One location will be adjacent to the Robert B. Sumner Judicial Center, 38033 Live Oak Avenue, and the other location at The Spoke—Dade City Market Place and Visitors Center, 37800 Church Avenue. Parking is also available in City and County owned lots and many other areas around Dade City’s historic and picturesque downtown.

Learn About Wildlife, Native Plants, Safe Pest Management, and Photo Tips

Mini-presentations scheduled throughout the day will offer tips on how to enjoy wildlife at home, including why it is important to plant native, how to capture butterflies and bees—with any camera, and how to manage yard pests responsibly.

Community booths staffed by Pasco County Florida Friendly Landscaping, Pasco County Master Gardeners, Pasco County Recycling, Pasco County Animal Services and Pasco County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources will be on hand to meet with the public and share information, resources, and opportunities to enhance their quality of life.

native plants butterfly plants
Native plants, butterfly plants are available for purchase at the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival. Image by Diane Bedard.

Native Plants, Garden Plants, Native Milkweed to Attract Butterflies

Shoppers will have their desires satisfied at the event’s eclectic market. A plant sale will feature a large assortment of native plants as well as other perennials, annuals, shrubs, garden art and accessories. The Birds, Bees and Butterflies Committee of the garden club will be selling two varieties of native milkweed and encourages shoppers to come early before this much sought-after plant is sold out.

The Garden Club Committee will also be offering a limited number of a cane begonia variety named “AYA”. Although not a butterfly plant, this variety is easy to grow and a great plant to help build confidence in a new gardener.  A variety of other vendors will present a unique shopping opportunity with everything from home décor items to handcrafted products to jewelry, honey and more.

Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival

Kids (of all ages) are Welcome (and wanted) at the Monarch Butterfly Festival

The Kids’ Zone will be the place to be for family fun at the Festival, where arts and crafts, face painting and games will take center stage. This year’s Kids’ Zone is sponsored by The Touchton Family, whose ancestor, “Miss Polly” Touchton, is the community leader for whom Touchton Park is named.

Returning this year will be Dade City’s own Sky-High Stilt Walking Monarch butterfly, who entertains and delights kids of all ages throughout the day. The featured hands-on activities are being presented by the Pasco County Library System, the Poinsettia Circle of the garden club and the Dade City Heritage Museum. Miles the Butterfly will again flutter over to the Festival from his home at the Dade City Heritage Museum and provides a colorful and fun place for families to gather as they learn about the Monarch butterfly.

Delicious Mexican food including tacos and fresh fruit cups as well as pulled pork sandwiches will be available for visitors to enjoy.

Be Sure to enter the Opportunity Drawing

The Dade City Garden Club is offering an Opportunity Drawing 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.

butterfly lady
Don’t miss seeing the Butterfly Lady, Miles the Butterfly, photo ops and much more at the 3rd annual Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival. Image by Dennis Bedard.

The members of the Dade City Garden Club have put together the Grand Prize of a hand-crafted wooden raised garden bed, 5 bags of Jungle Growth, metal watering can, big grip garden knife, book on container gardening, soft touch pruning snips, garden gloves, Mason bee house, herb plant markers, five (5) butterfly plants (two host plants and three nectar), and native milkweed seeds.

You can get tickets at the event, and the Garden Club will be announcing location to purchase tickets before the Monarch Butterfly Festival, for those who may not be able to make it out to the fun.

Plan to Attend the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival October 22 to Learn How You Can Help the Monarchs

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

Naturecoaster booth
NatureCoaster is proud to be one of many sponsors who help to bring you the Dade City Monarch Butterfly Festival. It is a great event. Image by Diane Bedard.

Thanks to the Monarch Butterfly Festival Sponsors

The Dade City Garden Club and the Dade City Youth Council thanks our awesome sponsors:  MONARCH LEVEL—Lanky Lassie Shortbread, The Canadian Medstore, and The Touchton Family; CHRYSALIS LEVEL—Tom Parks/Nye Commercial Advisors, Rocycle and TECO Energy; CATERPILLAR LEVEL— Bob Larkin Construction, Interglobal Products, Jarrett Ford, Meridian Title, Peterson Insurance, San Antonio Citizens FCU, Savory Roots Catering, The Spoke, and Two Ole Hens Too; EGG LEVEL— Florida Cracker Lunch on Limoges Blair Hensley & Ethan Hensley, Mona and Dave Goossens, Julie Hale, Robert and Jeannette Hatfield, Sally Redden, Rustic Elegance, and Mary Ann Yackel; MILKWEED LEVEL— Judie and Bill Critchley, and Not a Clue Adventures. Our media sponsors are and The Laker News/Lutz.

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