Bugs are lined up for presentation during BugFest, hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's entomology department on Sunday, September 29, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

It took two full parking lots to fit the crowds of families that were heading to this year’s BugFest. BugFest is an annual open house for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Entomology. 

This event made its way into Entomology Hall on Sunday afternoon and was open to the public with free admission. BugFest has been going on for the past 13 years and has provided the opportunity for guests of all ages to learn about and interact with a variety of insects.

Those working the event included faculty and staff within the Department of Entomology, as well as students majoring in entomology. 

Gary J. Brewer, a professor within the Department of Entomology at UNL who was working at the event, commented on the event saying, “BugFest was created as a way to give back to the community as well as allowing staff members to talk about what they’re interested in.”

Entomology Hall is located on East Campus and, during the event, had many bug-related attractions inside and outside the building. Outside attractions included face painting and honey flavored ice cream. Inside, the fest featured an assortment of interactive booths that guests could go to.

The first floor included a booth where guests got the chance to eat edible insects. The insects varied from crickets to mealworms, with flavors from sour cream and onion to barbecue. 

Guests could also check out the room called “Mites Be Cool” that was dedicated to educating people on the positive and negative impacts mites have on plants.The room also included a demonstration where you could observe mites interacting with a strand of grass from a microscope.

The second floor showcased an insect zoo where guests could see bugs like beetles, centipedes and even tarantulas. The workers would hold the insects for the patrons, and even let them scoop some up as well. One demonstration included a bug called the blue death feigning beetle, which plays dead as soon as you place it in your hands, with another demonstration showing a spinning spider. 

The event also featured a booth where guests could take their picture on a green screen which could make it look like they were riding on a ‘bronco bug’.

BugFest offered a family-friendly space, with hundreds of kids flooding all corners of the event.

Emily Belau, who attended with her two children, emphasized how she had heard about the event through a family-centric blog. 

“I heard about the event through the Macaroni Kid Newsletter, where they highly recommended the event.”

Through the face painting, ice cream and booths where you could color on the walls, this event was a big hit for children.

Bugs are something that many people fear, but this event showcased the importance of bugs and how harmless they can be. The way that these insects impact different plant cycles ought to be emphasized, and BugFest displayed that in a creative way that was fun for the whole family.