Downtown Blacksburg Inc. is proud to present our non-profit Member of the Month for September 2019- Hokie BugFest.
Hokie BugFest is a FREE community event that celebrates the excitement of entomology with STEAM-inspired (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities for all ages. In its 9th year, Hokie BugFest continues to be one of Virginia Tech’s largest science literacy events.
This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, October 5th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Squires Student Center and Downtown Blacksburg.
Hokie BugFest was the vision of Dr. Mike Weaver, professor emeritus in Virginia Tech entomology. It was started as part of the W. B. Alwood Legacy Project to honor and celebrate Professor Alwood, Virginia Tech’s first entomologist and champion for outreach education.
The first Hokie BugFest was held in 2011 under four tents in the “ag quad” on Virginia Tech’s campus. Professors, students, and staff from the Department of Entomology, friends of the department, and Virginia Cooperative Extension professionals came together to introduce the public to the fascinating and diverse world of bugs. Over 2,000 people attended and the Hokie BugFest “buzz” began.
Needing more space, Hokie BugFest spent the next six years at the Inn at Virginia Tech, where attendance grew from 3,600 in 2012 to over 8,000 in 2017. In 2018 the event moved to Squires Student Center and Downtown Blacksburg where it welcomed over 8,500 festival goers. As a result of this move, Hokie BugFest forged a new partnership with many of the downtown businesses, Downtown Blacksburg Inc., and the Town of Blacksburg. We love our new home and neighbors and are excited to be part of the vibrance and energy of downtown Blacksburg!
It takes a “swarm” of businesses, regional museums, Virginia Tech departments, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, faculty, non-profit organizations, and community volunteers to bring Hokie BugFest to the public. Generous local and regional sponsors continue to make the event FREE and accessible by all. With attendance regularly over 8,000, Hokie BugFest offers excellent visibility to local businesses interested in sponsoring the event.
Hokie BugFest partners with the Virginia Tech Center for Autism Research to provide a S.A.F.E. (supporting autism-friendly environments) pre-opening from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for families of children with autism and other special needs. A quiet room is available throughout the day, and this year the center’s Mobile Autism Clinic will join us on College Avenue.
Over the years, Hokie BugFest has hosted an eclectic and fascinating mix of bug-centric performers, activities, and contests. 2019 highlights include:
Capps Insect Collection & Museum Room – 100s of insects from across the globe
Insect-Costume Maker Lab
FREE MOVIE @ The Lyric Theatre – Miniscule: Valley of the Lost Ants
Tony Gustin The Bug Whisperer
Jr. Entomologist Certificate Program
Buggy Arts and Crafts
Pollination Station and Beekeepers
The Bug Library
Wizards of Entomology
4-H Insect Collection Contest
Buggin-Out Costume Contest and Parade
Humans Dressed as Dung Beetles Race
Buggy Art Contest
Be sure to visit hokiebugfest.org for a complete list of activities and performances.
Join us on October 5th for a full day of activities guaranteed to leave you bug-crazed and bug-amazed!
Download Hokie BugFest Art Contest Form here: HBF-ArtContest
2019 Hokie BugFest
Saturday, October 5
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (General Public)
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. (Pre-opening for families of children with autism and other special needs)