Cicadas soar their way into BugFest 2015

For immediate release ‐ September 08, 2015

Arts, Entertainment, Travel, Science, Food Editors.

Contact: Emelia Cowans-Taylor, 919.707.9837. Images available upon request

BugFest September 19, 2015. Saturday, 9am-7pm. Cafe Insecta, Roachingham 500, bugs, bugs, bugs. #bugfest. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Downtown Raleigh.

RALEIGH — Did you know there are 20 different cicada species in North Carolina, each with their own call? And cicadas were actually around to annoy the dinosaurs, 100 million years ago? Discover all you ever wanted to know and more about cicadas and all the other little denizens of the insect world at BugFest 2015, held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Saturday, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. BugFest is the Museum’s biggest event of the year and the largest one-day event of its kind in the world.

Cicadas are a large and audible element of summer, which makes them the perfect choice for this year’s theme bug. “Summer wouldn’t be summer without cicadas,” says Bill Reynolds, Head of the Arthropod Zoo. “Some people also refer to them as “harvest flies” because they are more abundant in late summer/early fall and the males of each species have their own unique song to attract the females.”

Now in its 19th year, BugFest continues to be the keystone event at the Museum where visitors turn their fears into fascination, complete with a full day of educational fun for the entire family: science talks, face painting, bug-eating, live music and more! All four floors of the main Museum (NEC – Nature Exploration Center), its new wing (NRC – Nature Research Center), and the surrounding plaza and streets transform into “Bug Central Station” with more than 100 educational stations, presentations and displays. Bee keepers will also be on site with local honey for sale.

The day is packed with programs revealing amazing truths about bugs – such as the ones you didn’t know are sharing your home – and culinary delights from the world-renowned Café Insecta, operated by local chefs. Chefs this year come from Rocky Top Hospitality, Buku, Backyard Bistro, and The Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans. A host of bug-filled dishes containing everything from superworms to crickets will be available for everyone to enjoy. Get there early! When the food runs out, it runs out…exterminated, you might say. Believe it or not, bug-filled food is in high demand! The event and Café Insecta food are FREE. Traditional bug-free food and drink are also available for sale on the plaza and inside the Museum’s Acro Café (fourth floor, NEC) as well as the Daily Planet Café (first floor, NRC).

New this year is a contest to guess the number of cicada shells in a jar. The winner gets a cicada trophy. The winner will be announced at 7 p.m. at the conclusion of BugFest. (Participants do not have to be present to win.) New artisans, Zendustria Studios and Art by Cara Bevan join our list of vendors. The “Evening Insectival” portion of BugFest, from 5 to 7 p.m., with more adult-centered activities, also has a new feature. Museum Deputy Director and Chief of Research & Collections, Jason Cryan and Assistant Head of the Genomics & Microbiology Research Lab, Julie Urban will preside over the evening cooking demonstrations tent, “Bug Bites: Bite them Before they Bite You” with a host of bug-tastic delicacies. The “Bug Love Station” about pheromones and how bugs attract mates is a returning nighttime favorite.

Presentations at BugFest

SECU Daily Planet Theater – NRC
10:30 a.m. “Hidden Ultraviolet Colors in Butterflies — Dr. Eric Butler, Shaw University.
11:30 a.m. “Bad Boys” – Bugs Who Won’t Behave — Heather L. Montgomery, Author, Children’s Nonfiction. (Book signing follows presentation)
12:30 p.m. “Cicadas’ Charismatic Cousins” — Jason R. Cryan, PhD, Deputy Director and Chief, Research & Collections, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
1:30 p.m. “Insect Singers: Cicadas” — Dr. John Cooley, The University of Connecticut.
2:30 p.m. “Cicadas: The Perfect Bug!”— Bill Reynolds, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
3:30 p.m. “The Most Interesting Critters You’ve Never Heard Of”— Dr. Matt Bertone, NC State University Department of Entomology, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic.

WRAL 3D Theater – NEC, first floor
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Tiny Giants! 3D” (ticketed showings on the hour, except 1 p.m.).
5 p.m. “The Ant Bully (2006) PG, 88 minutes (free, not in 3D).

Windows on the World – NEC, third floor
10 a.m. “Confessions of a Bug Wrangler: Don’t Try This At Home!” — Wade Harrell, Harrell House Bug Museum, Santa Fe, NM.
11 a.m. “What’s on Your Crayfish? Hidden Diversity in Our Streams” — Bronwyn W. Williams, Research Curator of Crustaceans, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
1 p.m. “Life of a Silk Moth” — Madison T. Drouin, Author.
2 p.m. “What’s All the Buzz about Pollinators?” — Stacy Blomquist, U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
3 p.m. “Snake Doctors, Mosquito Hawks, and Devil’s Darning Needles: The Amazing World of Dragonflies” — Chris Goforth, Head, Citizen Science, NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
4 p.m. “What Makes Bugs Tick?” — Dr. Dan Johnson, Avian and Exotic Animal Care.

The Main Stage outside will feature several live bands including Papa Bear’s Big Red Chair, Graffiti Monkeys and Mosquito Legs. In between sets, the crowd can get in touch with their creative and environmental sides at the Scrap Exchange table; bet on their favorite Madagascar hissing cockroach in the Roachingham 500; participate in “Can You Cicada?” (a series of adventures to see if you can survive as a cicada); or joust with a friend in the Stag Beetle Battles! The Jim Alberti Flea Circus returns with his amazing cast of delightful performers, including Paddy O’Reilly Shaughnessy, who waves an Irish Flag, Captain Spaulding, who is shot from a cannon, and the daring, diving, bikini-clad Dardenell who does the traditional flea circus high dive. The KidZone will feature the Arthropod Olympics (Dung Beetle Races, Ant Races, Bee Races); Bug Bounce; and face painting (small fee).

Terminix Company of Eastern North Carolina is the Lead Sponsor of BugFest. Additional sponsors include Armstrong Cricket Farm and Pepsi Bottling Ventures. Leaf and Limb Tree Service is sponsoring the Daily Planet Theater. All BugFest activities are free unless otherwise noted on location. For more information about BugFest, visit, or call Kari Wouk, or 919.707.9879.

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