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  Guest of Honor at the 2013 Festival

hank you to everyone who attended the 2013 festival.

A heartfelt Thank You! to all of the volunteers who spent their Saturday--in 93+ F heat--to make the Festival a great event for an estimated 9-10,000 visitors!  We couldn't have done it without the help from so many.

And of course, a special Thank You goes out to the volunteer Naturescape gardeners who work so hard in the background to maintain the beautiful gardens throughout the growing season.

Twin Cities Daily Planet: Monarchs reign over Lake Nokomis celebration (9/10/13) with photos.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, were proud to hold the 2013 Minneapolis Monarch Festival at the Nokomis Naturescape on September 7. It was a hot, but fun day lakeside

The festival offers everything from food, to music, education and art, highlighting the Minnesota - Mexico connection that the Monarch butterfly creates along its migration path.

Click for vid See the Monarch Festival music vid by the Talismen on YouTube

We had an exciting stage line up for 2013.   The day opened with Silva Sol at 10am, followed by Machinery Hill at 11am. At noon, the hugely popular Kalpulli KetzalCoatilcue Aztec Dance group performed in costume (hot dancers!). The afternoon lineup started with RAMM, and its distinctive repertoire of R&B, Rock, Funk, Motown, and Blues. The sound become more Caribbean when Charanga Tropical took the stage with its flute, violins, and Latin rhythm section. The day ended with Salsa del Soul’s high energy Bachata, Plena and Salsa music.  

New this year, dance instructors tought guests new dance moves on the portable dance floor at stage right.

Art Activities included ArtOrg's wildly popular printmaking by steamroller (really!); printing with plants; Art in the Park with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; a variety of hands-on activities with Project Art for Nature; Pinata making and more.

There were Monarch butterflies of course. This year citizen volunteers collected eggs and raised butterflies at home for the Festival. 200 Monarchs were tagged (we ran out of tags!) and all were released to begin their amazing 2,300 mile migration from Lake Nokomis to the mountains of Michoacán Mexico where they will spend the winter.

The Kids Butterfly Fun Runs, were a lot of fun this year. A new format for bracketing, and a new course, ensured groups of 30 or less. The Run was sponsored by Univision MN and U Care.

Food was available from seven vendors. Sweet Berry Kitchen, new to the Festival this year, was a hit with their pitchers of ice-cold lemonade. El Burrito Mercado ran out of corn to roast..

Every year, the Festival takes place alongside the Nokomis Naturescape, comprised of a variety of native grass and wildflower gardens which have been certified nationally as a Monarch Waystation. The gardens contain annual and perennial plants that provide habitat and food sources that are essential to the survival of monarch butterflies.

We look forward to seeing you next year at this unique and incredibly fun festival.

For more information or to become involved as a vendor or exhibitor, contact:
MaryLynn Pulscher at 612-313-7784
Rita Ulrich, 612-724-5652,
Soraya Valedon-Lopez, 612-817-0760, (Español)
Yasmin Ventura, 612-724-5652, (Español)

Growing Monarch Habitat workshop, May 31

NENA's annual habitat workshop will be offered on Saturday, May 31, 9:30-11am at the Nokomis Community Center, 2401 East Minnehaha Pkwy.

The workshop will show how you can make a difference in saving monarch butterflies and other pollinator populations devastated by habitat loss. Monarch butterflies need milkweed to reproduce. They are the only plants that monarch caterpillars eat, so increasing the availability of milkweed is critical to the survival of the monarch migration, as well as the Minnesota monarch population. Small urban gardens can make a big difference in making up for the loss of rural habitat. The workshop discussion will include the Monarch butterfly life cycle, migration and required habitat needs; the best native plants for monarchs, and how to plan your garden.

The class is presented by Vicki Joy Bonk, a NENA volunteer who has served as the Nokomis Naturescape park stewardship leader for 15 years.

A “Garden-to-Go” kit is included in the registration cost of $25. It has a selection of native plants (milkweed, nectar and shelter) and instructions for starting your own monarch garden. To register,
download the form here
(PDF) or call the NENA office (612-724-5652) for a copy. Attendance is free if you do not need the kit.

Kids Butterfly Fun Run Kids Butterfly Fun Run
Kids Butterfly Fun Run Go to the Naturescape page

2013KetzalCoatlicue Aztec Dance Group

2013 Monarch education, tag and release


Our 2013 Sponsors and Producers Click for Nokomis East's Website Click for Minneapolis Parks Website Click for CCP's Website Click for MN Clean Water Legacy Program Website US Forest Service La Matraca Magazine website Vida y Sabor website Consulado de México en Saint Paul Univision Minnesota U Care website National Endowment for the Arts MN Stae Arts Board website
Thank you to our sponsors, partners and volunteers

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