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Creepy Crawlies at Bug Fest


Jungle NymphLooking for something to do this weekend that’s a little… out of the ordinary? The Academy of Natural Sciences has just the thing that’s guaranteed to make your skin crawl. On August 15th and 16th, they’re holding their second annual Bug Fest, an exhibit highlighting all things creepy, crawly, slimy and squirmy.

Last year’s Bug Fest was an enormous success, drawing over 4,000 attendees, and Jacquie Genovesi, Sr. Director of Education at the Academy, expects the second incarnation to be even better.

“This is the type of event that people will be talking about for weeks after,” Genovesi says. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to have a fun-filled day of learning about insects and their cousins. When you are talking about a group of animals that out numbers us 200,000,000 to 1, we should know everything we can about them.”

As both a world leader in the study of insects and the headquarters of the American Entomological Society, the Academy’s collection houses 3.5 million specimens. The festival will exhibit over fifty species of live insects, including battle-ready stag beetles, huge rhino beetles, giant water bugs, camel crickets and eight-inch long stick insects. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania will be on hand to demonstrate advances in robotics with cool demonstrations of insect-like robots.

VinegaroonThose who attended last year will remember cheering for their favorite arthropod in the Roach Race 500, a popular display, which will again be featured at this year’s exhibit. New features for the kids include bug illustrations, new species, and a make-your-own bug box and pooters display for those who want to start collecting out of their own backyard. Want to see the exhibit sans child? No problem. The exhibit will feature interesting talks for adults about insect anatomy and pest management for your lawn and garden.

Finally, for the guest with an iron stomach (or maybe just those with something to prove), the Academy is proud to feature renowned bug chef Zack Lemann, who will cook up samples of Cajun critters for those daring enough to dig in. Lemann has demonstrated his culinary expertise on The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Maury Povich Show, and will give you and your friends something to brag about for months to come.

Bug Fest runs this weekend, August 15th and 16th, from 10 am until 5 pm. The exhibit is free with regular museum admission, which is $12 for adults and $10 for children under 12, seniors, college students and military personnel. Members and children under 3 get in for free. Hope to see you there!