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Minneapolis Monarch Festival

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The Minneapolis Monarch Festival™ returns to Lake Nokomis on Saturday, September 7, with a fresh line up of performers and art activities, food from Minnesota, Mexico and beyond, games for kids, monarchs and habitat education. The Festival celebrates the migration of the monarchs from Minnesota to the mountains of Central Mexico, and promotes habitat conservation to restore the alarmingly low migrating population.  The Festival is expected to draw 8,000–10,000 people.

The Minnesota – Mexico connection is highlighted with music, dance, food and art.  The all-day stage will open with Silva Sol at 10am, followed by Machinery Hill at 11am.  At noon, the hugely popular Ketzal Coatilcue Aztec Dance group will perform. The afternoon lineup starts with RAMM, and its distinctive repertoire of R&B, Rock, Funk, Motown, and Blues.  The sound will become more Caribbean when Charanga Tropical takes the stage with its flute, violins, and Latin rhythm section.  The day ends with Salsa del Soul’s high energy Bachata, Plena and Salsa music.

Up to 200 children are expected to participate in the Kids Butterfly Fun Run.  The runs are short, untimed races for children 1-12 years old.  Prizes are awarded to the top finishers, and the best monarch wings and best monarch costume. Registration for the Run is $7, which includes an official Fun Run T-shirt. Because the race is sponsored by UCare and Univision Minnesota, proceeds go to support monarch habitat restoration in Minnesota and Mexico.

For many people, the day’s highlight is tagging a monarch butterfly and releasing it in the Nokomis Naturescape gardens. They learn about the monarch’s life cycle, the Monarch Migration, and plants it needs for survival.  Before releasing it, a small round sticker is placed on the butterfly’s wing for Monarch Watch’s research program.  Several organizations, including Monarch Joint Venture, Wild Ones, NENA’s volunteer gardeners who maintain the Naturescape, and Audubon will offer plenty of information about monarchs and what people can do to help save the Migration.

Education about monarchs and the monarch migration, one of the world’s great migrations, and arguably the most beautiful and mystifying of all migrations, is central to the Festival. It is without a doubt one of  nature’s masterpieces.

Admission to the Minneapolis Monarch Festival is free, and monarch lovers everywhere are welcome.

Vendors will have Latin and ‘Minnesotan’ food available for sale. Guests are encouraged to bring a water bottle and fill it with water from Minneapolis Tap.

The Minneapolis Monarch Festival is produced by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Monarch Lab, “Monarchs in the Classroom” program. Additional support is provided by Univision Minnesota,  the US Forest Service International Program, UCare, and the Mexican Consulate. Art and music programming is funded by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Detailed information on the stage lineup, the Butterfly Fun Run, art activities, monarch tagging, and the Nokomis Naturescape will be available on the Festival website as it becomes available:  www.monarchfestival.org

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