MISSION - Preparations are well underway for the 24th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival in the place USA Today declares “the butterfly capitol of the USA”! Everyone is invited to join in this seasonal celebration of the Rio Grande Valley’s exceptional bounty of butterflies, regardless of age or familiarity with the outdoors.

The festival kicks off with the 3rd annual "running of the Monarchs,” at 8 am, Saturday, November 2. Participants must pre-register for this 5K Trail Run and 1 Mile Fun Run across the National Butterfly Center’s grounds and gardens in order to receive their beautiful, collectible Monarch Medal. The entry fee for this 2 Run Crew production is $24 for adults and $12 for children and supports the environmental conservation work of the center. Native seed bombs are provided to all participants to toss along the route of this scenic run to help restore the landscape for Monarchs and other butterflies with native host and nectar plants.

The fun run is followed by the festival’s free, open house event, known as Community Day, which will take place from 9 am – 2 pm, featuring educational activities and games for the whole family.

Butterfly enthusiasts from across the country and beyond will gather for a Welcome Reception and Orientation at 6 pm at the Mission Events Center before embarking on three days of expert-guided field trips to secret gardens and public parks, renowned places and hard-to-find hot spots, from Falcon Dam to South Padre Island. While many field trips have already sold out, limited space remains for educational sessions and excursions designed specifically for naturalists of every experience level.

Fresh, fantastic and peculiar to this region, the festival’s food is just as fabulous as the butterflies! This year, we’re happy to showcase the contemporary, comfort cuisine of Gigi’s Restaurant & Café in Edcouch. At Gigi’s, one family’s delicious legacy of feeding family and friends continues under the guidance of Maricela Gonzalez, second generation restaurateur, and Chef Frank Rodriguez, who will serve up traditional tastes of the Rio Grande Valley with a twist to registrants Saturday, Sunday and Monday at the Keynote Speaker’s Banquet.

Anne Johnson Prum, Emmy award-winning wildlife television producer and cinematographer and the founder of Coneflower Studios, will deliver this year’s visually-stunning keynote presentation, concerning the incredible observations she has recorded in the field for ground-breaking specials including American Spring Live, Pollinators in Peril, Super Hummingbirds, and Sex, Lies and Butterflies, which was filmed in part at the National Butterfly Center.

To ensure your seat for these educational sessions, excursions and activities, one must reserve seats in advance at https://www.texasbutterflyfestival.com/ or call the Chrysalis Visitor’s Pavilion at 956-583-5400. Tickets to the banquet, only, are available for $60 per person.

Discover adventure, amidst our natural treasures, and enjoy the thrill of the chase as we add to the list of exquisite species encountered by festival participants over the years. Who knows? You may even log the record first sighting of an exotic, tropical stray, like the Blue-studded Skipper or Zebra Cross-streak!

The 24th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival is the nation’s premier butterflying event, hosted by the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. It brings people from all around the world to the Rio Grande Valley, to enjoy the unique volume and variety of wild butterflies that may only be found, here.

For more information, visit: https://www.texasbutterflyfestival.com/