Inaugural Monarch Butterfly Festival Flutters to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden This Weekend

Dress in your best pollinator-costumes and strut your stuff in the migration parade

click to enlarge Monarch butterfly - Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash
Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash
Monarch butterfly

Flutter your way to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden for their first-ever Monarch Festival on Sept. 21. 

The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. and features monarch-butterfly-themed activities, interactive learning, displays, a parade and a butterfly "tag and release."

The parade will take place at noon and encourages kids to dress up in their best pollinator costumes and accessories and strut their stuff. Participants will be given an origami monarch to sign and place on a tree within the forest. 

“I’m most excited about the migration parade, where children of all ages will ‘migrate’ from Canada and the United States to the Mexican forest where monarchs overwinter," Cincinnati Zoo COO and parade grand monarch Dave Jenike says in a press release. “The symbolic migration will help people understand the important role they can play to help monarchs make it to their destination, which can be as much as a 3,000-mile journey and involves 4 generations of butterflies.”

The event is presented by Simple Truth and aims to bring attention to the Zoo's "pollinator conservation" Pollen Nation program, specifically, the Plant for Pollinators Challenge, which encourages Cincinnatians to plant pollinator-friendly plants in their gardens and register them with the program. They hope to have 500 more registered gardens by the end of this year. Currently, the program has 840 registered gardens. 

The festival is free to attend with zoo admission. For more info, visit

Monarch Festival, 10 a.m., Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine. St., Avondale