BugFest is coming to Suffolk

Published 8:24 pm Thursday, September 30, 2021

Suffolk will be bugging out for the southeastern region of Virginia.

The Hokie BugFest is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 16, at East Suffolk Recreation Center, 134 S. Sixth St.

This event stems from a program that Virginia Tech holds each year. Wanting to bring the program to more areas across the commonwealth, the southeastern region is getting its first BugFest held in Suffolk. The hope is that the event will be a success and return in years to come in more cities in the region.

BugFest is for the whole family to come out and learn more about the bugs around them. Parents and youth will learn about the insects native to the region and which ones are helpful and harmful.

“I feel like entomology in general is important because a lot of people can be scared of different bugs,” said Elizabeth Pittman, the Suffolk Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. “Many are helpful to have around the yard or garden, like pollinators.”

At BugFest, guests can participate in a scavenger hunt that takes them to the various visitors to learn more about the bugs around them. In addition, there will be insect displays, seed giveaways, children’s activities, bugbots and more for guests to explore.

In preparation for the event, youth can participate in a 4-H competition. Grades kindergarten through 12th can participate, but grades kindergarten through second grade will be exhibition only. Students can submit a photo, sculpture, painting or drawing of their favorite insect. A photo of the entry must be entered by Oct. 8 to be on display for judging during the BugFest.

“It’s important to teach kids early and foster the interest they already have in science and nature,” said Pittman. “It’s also good to have info for the parents on unwanted pests and how to remedy that while taking care of the insects you do want around.”

For adults, a help desk will be available for any questions they may have about their homes, yards or gardens. The Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists will be available to answer any questions.

Masks will be required indoors for this event. To learn more about the 4-H contest, visit tinyurl.com/4-HBugFest.