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Butterfly Festival to show people how to protect pollinators on Saturday

The Butterfly Festival is presented by the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Butterflies will flutter through the ground of UT Arboretum on Saturday for the seventh annual Butterfly Festival.

In past years, the festival was meant to teach people about how they can help protect pollinators. These important species are responsible for helping a variety of different plants grow, effectively forming the bedrock of most food chains. Without bees, butterflies, moths, and beetles — finding sustainable food sources could become a challenge.

The Butterfly Festival will include two butterfly tents, educational lectures, a butterfly release and children's art activities. The UT Insect Zoo will also be there, which teaches children about the world of bugs and the roles they play in the environment.

They will be releasing around 500 painted lady butterflies at 12 p.m. Saturday and children will be invited to help release them. Two speakers will also give presentations inside the UT Arboretum Auditorium.

Artisans will also be at the event, offering butterfly-themed merchandise. Food trucks will also be at the event, including CJs Tacos, Forks on the Road and Pelican's SnoBalls.

The event will last from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m. at the UT Arboretum Auditorium, and on the grounds surrounding it. The arboretum is located at 901 South Illinois Avenue, in Oak Ridge.

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