July 07, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival and Sister Cities Fiesta Plan Joint Event Saturday

For the first time ever, Springfield’s annual Butterfly Festival will metamorphose into a re-imagined Sister Cities Fiesta, featuring live Mariachi music along with special guests and activities.

Festival meets Fiesta Saturday, July 12, at the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave.

The Sister Cities Fiesta in July replaces this year’s Artsfiesta traditionally held near Cinco de Mayo. The opportunity to partner with Friends of the Garden is occurring because the Mariachi Viva Xalisco, from Springfield’s Sister City of Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico, will be visiting Springfield to entertain at the annual Ball of the Wild, hosted by the Friends of the Zoo on the same weekend.

“Friends of the Garden looks forward to joining forces with the Springfield Sister Cities Association to add new elements to the popular Butterfly Festival and create a robust day of free activities and entertainment for people across our region,” FOG President Lisa Bakerink said.

The 6th annual Butterfly Festival begins at 9 a.m. when volunteers open the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House near the Botanical Center.  The only all-native Butterfly House in Missouri allows visitors to get a close-up look at the life cycle of butterflies as it also works to conserve butterfly habitats in our area.

One of the most at-risk butterflies is the Monarch, which winters in Mexico at sites including a major sanctuary in Michoacán, an inland state near Jalisco.

Highlights of the Butterfly Festival include the caterpillar petting zoo, games, crafts, storytimes, and workshops. The popular Pollinator Parade and Butterfly/Caterpillar Costume Contest also are planned. Stormy Weather and Carter & Connelley will perform in the morning.

Then, at 1 p.m., the Mariachi Viva Xalisco takes the stage southeast of the Butterfly House for a performance with special guest Paco Padilla, a popular artist and folk singer from Tlaquepaque who has visited Springfield several times. Along with enjoying the Mariachi performance, visitors will see traditional Mexican dances and enjoy crafts, vendors and food associated with Springfield’s sister city.

 “This is a great opportunity for SSCA to partner with a popular summer event where we can introduce new people and welcome old friends to the exciting music of Tlaquepaque’s musicians and our good friend, Paco Padilla, who charms audiences every time he visits Springfield,” SSCA President Carolyn Gerdes said.

Both the Festival and the Fiesta are free and open to the public, with donations accepted. Food and beverages will be available for sale. Sponsors for the Butterfly Festival include Ruth Arneson, Dan and Susan Cardwell, Hogan Land Title and Ozarks Screen Printing.

For more information and schedule of events, please visit: www.friendsofthegarden.org; or www.peacethroughpeople.org. Or follow both groups on Facebook at facebook.com/friendsofthegarden and facebook.com/springfieldsistercities.

The Mariachi Viva Jalisco also will perform at halftime during the Springfield Lasers match against the Austin Aces, which begins at 7 p.m., Sunday, July 13, at Cooper Tennis Stadium. For ticket information, visit: springfieldlasers.com.

For more information, contact: Lisa Bakerink, President, Friends of the Garden, lisabakerink@gmail.com or 417-763-0415; or Cindy Jobe, Springfield Sister Cities Association, cjobe@springfieldmo.gov; 417-864-1341.