Outdoor fun at the Monarch Festival on Sept. 7

The Waukegan Public Library presents the fifth annual Monarch Festival on Sunday, September 7 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the corner of Clayton and County Streets in downtown Waukegan. The Monarch Festival is a free family event dedicated to raising awareness in the community about the environment, healthy living, and the importance of physical activity and exercise.

This year the Library is presenting bike stunts by pro BMX rider Matt Wilhelm, an “America’s Got Talent” semi-finalist. Wilhelm is known as the fastest spinner in the world on a BMX bike and has earned three X-Games Medals. His show includes topics about bike safety, motivation, and perseverance. In addition to the bike stunts, there will be a demonstration by the Waukegan Police Department K-9 Unit and traditional Mexican cultural dancing by Erande.

Activities at the festival include a climbing wall, a radar soccer kick game, free face painting, and the chance to fly a quad copter courtesy of the Boy Scouts of America Northeast Illinois Council. In addition to local restaurants offering a variety of food and drinks, the Chicago Botanic Gardens Green Youth Farm will sell fresh fruits and vegetables from their local farmer’s market.

The festival uses the flight and movement of the Monarch butterfly to teach families about the importance of staying active and eating healthy. Booths highlight the fall migration of the Monarch butterfly from Illinois to Michoacan, Mexico with activities like hula hooping, jump roping, and dancing to show the importance of the ecosystem to the survival of the Monarch.

Sponsors of the Monarch Festival include Bright Start College Savings, Prairie Crossing Charter School, Great Lakes Credit Union, Words on Wheels, Lewis Fresh Market, Vista Health, Consumers Credit Union, Erie Family Health, H&R Block, Rosita La Michoacana, Classic Toyota, Puro Futbol, Mundo Fox, Waukegan Park District, and Most Blessed Trinity Parish.

For questions about the festival, the performers or exhibitors, call Rena Morrow, Marketing and Exhibits Manager at the Waukegan Public Library, at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.