PrairieFest, Museum of Natural Sciences’ celebration of all things prairie, June 3

For immediate release ‐ May 25, 2023

Contact: Kerry Irish, 919.707.9823. Images available upon request

Fireflies at Prairie Ridge.Prairie Ridge Ecostation, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ 45-acre outdoor learning center in west Raleigh, will host the first PrairieFest celebration in honor of National Prairie Day on June 3. Click photo for a larger image. Photo: Karen Swain/NCMNS.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Join us for the first PrairieFest celebration in honor of National Prairie Day. This free, family-friendly event takes place at Prairie Ridge Ecostation, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ 45-acre outdoor learning center in west Raleigh, on Saturday, June 3, 5–9 p.m.

PrairieFest will include a mix of natural history, cultural history and art activities designed to teach visitors about Piedmont prairies, one of the richest ecosystems on Earth. Several stations throughout the site will feature a variety of activities that give visitors a chance to hear about citizen science projects, investigate pond invertebrates, create their own art with NC Museum of Art staff members, learn how to make bracelets from raffia grass, and more.

Prairie Ridge Ecostation, located at 1671 Gold Star Drive, is made up of restored grasslands, wetlands and forested bottomlands interspersed with a winding series of hiking trails. Gates will open at 5 p.m. for visitors to enjoy picnicking on the prairie while listening to music performed by Ed Hoffman (of local kids’ band Sandbox) and Harold Brady (of local bluegrass band the Carolina Heelsplitters), with a variety of hands-on prairie-related activities beginning at 6 p.m. Stay late for a firefly program beginning at 8:30, then enjoy watching fireflies over the prairie before heading home for the night.

This is a family-friendly event. Please dress for the weather (closed-toed shoes and a water bottle recommended) and prepare to take a walk. This event is free; donations are always welcome.

Please direct questions to Emma Blackford at

About the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina. Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

For more information about our upcoming activities, conservation news and ground-breaking research, follow @NaturalSciences on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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