David Boyd, director of education at the center, said they are hoping to re-introduce the event with a purpose of giving visitors an up close and personal educational experience with butterflies.
“We want to create a festival atmosphere everybody can enjoy,” said Boyd. “We’ll have fun for the kids, tours of the garden and entertainment — but the butterflies are the main show.”
During the festival, there will be a tent featuring 250 to 300 butterflies where guests can walk through and actually experience being surrounded by the butterflies. There is no age requirement for that activity. There will be experts there to answer any questions visitors might have about the species.
Other activities will include a magic show, end-of-day parade and a butterfly release, which is a big deal according to Boyd.
“Earlier in the day we’ll release native, organically-grown butterflies into the area,” said Boyd. “We’re very excited about that … the kids love it and it’s beautiful to see.”
Boyd added there is a new energy about the festival this year and they hope to create excitement in the visitors about being outdoors and experiencing what nature has to offer.
There will be a member preview this year starting at 9 a.m., where members of the nature center can arrive early to visit the festival. Also, tickets and time entry wristbands for the butterfly tent can be purchased in advanced online.
Boyd said for the nature center, the festival is a sort of end of summer celebration — closing up their summer camp offerings and giving back to the community with a family event.
“Our goal is to make this a true Dunwoody event everyone looks forward to,” he said. “We’re looking forward to the family friendly nature and the fun of watching the kids enjoy the festival.”
Event highlights throughout the day include:
o 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. — a Raptor Show on the main stage (featuring hawks and owls)
o 11:30 to 11:50 a.m. — Garden Tour No. 1
o 11:30 a.m. to noon — Geocaching No. 1 begins
o noon to 12:45 p.m. — Magic Show
o 1 to 1:30 p.m. — Concert with Jason’s Music Party
o 2:15 — Jason’s Butterfly Parade.
If you go
o When: Aug. 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
o Where: 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody
o Tickets: (770) 394-3322 or www.dunwoodynature.org