'Battle of the Bugs' at Penn State's Great Insect Fair

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Some people lump all insects together and consider them just plain creepy. Visitors at Penn State's 2011 Great Insect Fair can learn to recognize and value good bugs for the necessary roles they play in keeping bad bugs at bay.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Department of Entomology, the fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the Snider Agricultural Arena, at the corner of Park Avenue and Fox Hollow Road (across from Beaver Stadium) on the University Park campus.

"Insects perform many beneficial activities in our gardens and in the environment as a whole," said Steven Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology and fair coordinator.

"Many insects are important predators of pests in our backyards," he explained. "Part of the reason other insects don't become major pests is because of the good insects in the environment."

This year's fair will feature special exhibits, such as native pollinators and a butterfly tent. Ladybug Theatre will offer performances of children's books such as "The Hungry Caterpillar" and "The Grouchy Ladybug."

Other fun and interactive events will include:

-- Bug Battles in Insect Olympics
-- Build-A-Bug Competition -- Bring your homemade insect for judging and a chance to win prizes (for rules and guidelines, visit the Web at http://ento.psu.edu/public/kids/great-insect-fair/build-a-bug).
-- Cockroach Races
-- Putt Putt Golf
-- Insect Construction Company
-- Insect Zoo
-- Insect Deli
-- Live Musical Entertainment
-- Honey Tasting
-- Insect Collections
-- Face Painting
-- Insect Vendors -- Shop for insect pets, art, crafts, books and T-shirts.
-- The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program's "The BugMobile!"
-- The Bug Doctor Is In
Admission to the Great Insect Fair is free, although donations will be accepted to help defray costs. Free parking is available at the Snider Agricultural Arena and across Park Avenue behind the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center. For more information, call the Department of Entomology at 814-865-1895 or visit the department's website at http://ento.psu.edu/public/kids/great-insect-fair online.

Last Updated September 12, 2011