FAMILIES SWARM TO FIRST ANNUAL BAMA BUG FEST

The heat wasn’t the only thing stinging over the weekend: The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum was the place to be July 27 as it was home to the first annual Bama Bug Fest.

The family-friendly event was swarming with adults and children who came to the museum to see all of the interesting insects.

“It’s an event to celebrate the biodiversity, beauty and importance of bugs in our world,” John Friel, the director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, said. “And sometimes in the same fam you’ll see someone who really wants to pick up some bugs or eat some bug food, other people that are completely against it. So the idea is that there is something for everybody.”

The Bama Bug Fest was the first of its kind in Tuscaloosa and with it being such a success, they plan on making it an annual event.

“We haven’t done all the things yet because there is a lot but we’ve learned a lot of facts about them,” one attendee said.

Visitors could hold the insects, create bug art, watch roach tractor pulls and even partake in a cricket spitting competition. And just in case their stomachs were bugging them, there was plenty of food trucks to keep everybody’s wings flapping.

“I am at the Bug Fest,” another attendee said. “I am having a good time watching these incredibly talented animals and the people who make them do these things.”

Next year, they just might have to include some more bugs to get an even bigger buzz going.

“You know, we want people to approach this but we have experts here that can identify insects, tell you why insects are good for the environment,” Friel said. “So if you have any questions, please come out and see what we have to offer. And again, we are going to do this every year so if you can’t make it this year, next year will be even bigger and better.”

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