Monarch Butterfly Festival

Cooler weather brings relief to humans and transport winds for migrating birds and butterflies. The large orange and black Monarch butterflies take advantage of these winds to head south to the Gulf coast and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on their migration to Mexico. The Refuge will host itsMonarch Festival on Saturday October 28 from 10 am - 2 pm to showcase this amazing migration.

Not only will visitors to the festival on Saturday will be able to able to witness the tagging of these delicate butterflies at the St. Marks Lighthouse, but they can enjoy exhibits and demonstrations, learn about landscaping for butterflies and other pollinators, plus enjoy family-friendly interactive games, crafts, music, and food near the visitor center, plus the Nature Store will also be open from 10 am -5pm, so you can get all your monarch and nature gifts there.

Unlike other animal migrations, each monarch butterfly is on its own. There is no parent to follow. Its annual journey is a complex, inherited behavior pattern, not a learned process. Migrating monarchs are usually those who hatch out in late summer. Monarchs have a 4-inch wingspan and weigh 1 gram (1/5 the weight of a penny). They travel with cold fronts, often at speeds of 10 - 30 mph, covering 80 miles a day. They may fly at 3,000 feet and higher and will "fall out" on the goldenrod and saltbush, blooming along the coast and feed hungrily for their long trip.

The regular entrance fee of $5/car will be charged, so have your money ready when you approach the tollbooth to save time. We ask that you please leave your pets at home.

To protect our festival participants, Lighthouse Road will be closed just past the boat ramp parking lot entrance and visitors will be asked to park at the boat ramp parking lot and walk to the lighthouse. Enjoy the short walk and watch the butterflies and birds! Accommodations will be made for those with handicap access

For more information, please call 850/925-6121. We look forward to seeing you at the festival

Event date and time
Event location name
Nature's Classroom, Lighthouse


1255 Lighthouse Rd.St. Marks,32355FL