As October rolls around, Virginia Tech’s annual Hokie BugFest gears up for its tenth anniversary in a virtual format.
The festival begins Oct. 7 with daily virtual events and activities on the event’s website, such as scavenger hunts, exhibit previews and an interactive Facebook page where participants can vote and partake in bug-related contests and challenges, like the all-new Cockroach Derby.
Hokie BugFest, one of Virginia Tech’s largest science literacy events, educates participants and families about Earth’s interesting insects in a 10-day celebration, leading to a full day of live virtual festivities on Oct. 17.
In addition to on-demand content, the Inn at Virginia Tech’s executive chef Scott Watson, Tony Gustin the Bug Whisperer, WDBJ meteorologist Brent Watts and bug magician Brandon Owens are making bug-related presentations Oct. 17.
The annual festival also aims to highlight the value of the entomological world that exists in the Virginia Tech community and to engage its participants in insect-related activities, exhibits and events at home which help demonstrate the importance and role of insects in the environment around them.
Although the festival is virtual this year, Department of Entomology Communications Coordinator James Mason sees an advantage to the online format in that people who are not local are able to participate in BugFest this year. This year’s virtual activities and events make BugFest more accessible than previous years for people who do not live in Blacksburg and its surrounding areas.
“Many people have a fear or unease when it comes to insects,” Mason said. He hopes the message of Hokie BugFest reaches its audience once again this year to “teach kids and parents that insects are really cool and beneficial to our world.”