Insect Festival

The 16th Insect Festival was held October 18, 2016. The next Insect Festival will be October 2018.

FREE and open to the public. Everyone of all ages is invited. This event takes place at the Whitaker Animal Science Center.

About the Insect Festival

The goal of the Insect Festival of Arkansas is to educate and entertain the people of Arkansas, particularly its children, about the beauty, value, and interest of insects and other arthropods. The first Festival was held in 1993. The one-day event typically draws 3,000 to 4,000 people.  It takes most people about 1-2 hours to travel through the festival grounds and all the activities. There are many educational exhibits with expert entomologists to answer your questions. 

  • insect & arthropod zoo
  • displays of insects from the state arthropod museum
  • games and crafts for children
  • a cotton patch
  • beekeeping
  • cockroach races
  • insect movies
  • and, many other exhibits

Resources for Parents and Teachers

Maps & Directions - There is ample parking for buses and cars adjacent to the arena.

School Groups

In the interest of trying to keep the attendance at any one time balanced and provide the best experience possible, we would like you to let us know how many people you will be in your group, and what time you will be bringing your class. Time slots that are best for the public schools are:

  • 9 - 11 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • 1 - 3 p.m.

Please respond by email and let us know the following: 

  1. Your name, phone number, email address
  2. School and grade you teach
  3. Number of people in your visiting group
  4. Time slot you prefer

Insect Festival Displays

Arthropod Zoo

 Educational displays of living insects, spiders, scorpions, millipedes, centipedes and other arthropods provide an opportunity for children to see these creatures up close and talk about them with our graduate students and faculty and other entomologists. Children have the opportunity to hold live giant cockroaches and overcome insect phobias at this display.

 The Arthropod Museum of Arkansas

A comprehensive display of tropical butterflies, beetles, and other dramatic insects, as well as local butterflies and moths, and the diversity of insects.

Honey Bee Exhibit

 The honey bee exhibit has an observation with live bees making honey, caring for the larvae, and children can find the queen. People can learn about the importance of bees in pollination of our crops and wild flowers, how honey is produced, and other products of the hive such as pollen, propolis, beeswax, royal jelly, and bee venom.

Games, Crafts, and Cockroach Races

 insect festival cockroach races There will be games such as hissing cockroach races that are always a hit with the children, children's crafts and drawing areas, and temporary insect tattoos. 

The Cotton Patch

The Cotton Patch display has an actual patch of ripe cotton where children can learn about this important crop, its insect pests, and watch cotton actually be ginned. This is a major hit with children. Everyone can talk with experts on cotton entomology.

Cultural Exhibits

Insects have played a major role in human history, fine arts, literature, movies, and popular culture. Examples of insects in the media, arts, and human history will be presented.

Aquatic, Forest, and Other Insect Exhibits

Many other displays and exhibits will educate and amaze the public about the importance of insects in our streams, lakes, ponds, forests, lawns, and other habitats.

Come join the entomologists of Arkansas for a day of fun, festivities, and education about the incredible diversity, importance, and beauty of insects. There is something for everyone.