I have always loved fireflies. Maybe it’s because I’m a romantic, and a sucker for a good fairytale. Those little creatures feel like magic to me. They make me smile. Watching their soft glow blink on and off, I feel like unicorns could be just around the corner. They represent beauty in life, lightness, simplicity, joy, and hope.
There is a superb place and event coming up that captures all of this magic and more. Firefly Fling: The Summer Festival for Families takes place July 14 at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. It consists of music, food and after dark entertainment.
Children can enjoy The Very Lonely Firefly Center, where they can take part in creative writing. Kids and adults can creat colorful Mandalas out of natural materials near the Japanese Garden. At the Children’s Garden, a sound wall, water wall, and old-fashioned toys and games from Shiloh Museum are the featured fun.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will have a station to build shakers out of recycled bottles near the Butterfly Pavilion and Macaroni Kids will be in the Sensory Garden with a Critter Search. Cox Communications is participating with sand tables and UA Entomology students will be teaching about insects. Children can make bug masks and decorate them. The traditional fairy and tree house building activity, a Firefly favorite, will be behind the Sensory Garden near the creek.
Taking the garden’s Center Stage will be the child-pleasing act of Shaky bugs followed by the Arkansas music of Sugar on the Floor at 7:30 p.m. After dark, entertainment includes the Kaleidoscope Dance Academy in black-light costumes, the Night Blossom Fire Spinners, and the grand finale lantern launch. This year you can buy lanterns for $10 at the Firefly Shoppe and participate in the launch.
Other items in the store include wings, halos, wands, kaleidoscopes, LED flashlights and glow-in-the-dark tee shirts. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. You can also bring your ownpicnics, or purchase food, snacks and drinks from Tropical Smoothie, Pedalpops and the garden.
Tickets are $8 for an individual; $24 for a family of 4; $40 for a group of 6. Reserve admission online at http://www.bgozarks.org/ or by calling 479-750-2620.