GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is planning the inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival to be held Oct. 14-15. The event at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza will feature a live native butterfly exhibit, digital photography competition, lectures by well-known naturalists on various butterfly-related topics, nature walks to observe butterflies and moths, and many family oriented activities throughout the weekend.

The museum is planning the festival with several community partners, including the Arts Association of Alachua County, Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

“We anticipate this will become an annual festival that will draw visitors from throughout Florida and the United States,” Florida Museum Director Doug Jones said. “With the opening of the new McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, the Florida Museum is now the world’s largest research facility for butterflies and moths, so it just seems natural that we would hold this kind of event.”

The festival will feature field trips to other area venues, including Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Morningside Nature Center and Paynes Prairie State Preserve, as well as vendors selling various butterfly plants, art and other related merchandise.

Festival visitors also may tour the Florida Museum’s Butterfly Rainforest exhibit and new butterfly wildflower demonstration garden, which the museum plans to open this year.

For more information on the festival, call the Florida Museum, (352) 846-2000, ext. 200.

Media Contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 846-2000,