And now for something silly . . .
Glittery wings. Whimsical outfits. Energetic dances. It may have been early on Saturday morning, but Old Cutler Road was lit up with festive sights and sounds for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s first-ever Butterfly Migration Parade.
Last weekend, participants from all over Miami spread their wings and marched from Matheson Hammock Park to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in colorful butterfly displays. Fairchild staff rode in style on a shuttle decorated as a caterpillar with big eyes and pointy antennae. A fun float adorned with larger-than-life flowers and butterflies carried Ms. Miami 2013-2014 Isabelle Scott and her little sisters, University of Miami’s Sebastian the Ibis and Burnie the Miami Heat mascot. Local dignitaries from Coral Gables waved to spectators from cars and Segways. Miami Norland Senior High marching band drummers and Precious Pearls dance group, Hialeah Gardens Middle School drumline and dancers, and the Henry H. Filer Middle School Lady Panthers cheerleaders and Panther Starlets dancers gave great performances. Outfitted in vibrant apparel, the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue brought the celebration to life with high-energy drums and dancing. Even some Miami residents joined the parade, fluttering down the road dressed in bright colors and sparkly wings.
Once the parade made its way through the gates of Fairchild, the Garden filled with the sounds of performances by drumlines, cheer squads and dance troops. The dance groups from local schools showed off some great routines, and the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue got the crowd dancing along to the beat of the drums. While DJ Crunchtime played some popular tunes, guests got their faces painted with lovely winged designs to complete their butterfly looks.
Like butterflies, people get hungry, too; luckily, there was plenty of food to go around. There were hot dogs and hamburgers on the Glasshouse Café patio, the Ms. Cheezious food truck served delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and Ecoripe Tropicals handed out samples of exotic rambutan fruit.
To truly appreciate our fluttering friends, Fairchild staff was on hand in front of the new butterfly conservatory to answer questions and teach visitors about the butterfly life cycle. Once they were inside the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, guests could see the thousands of stunning butterflies and their new friends on view hatching from chrysalis in the Butterfly Metamorphosis Lab.
Overall, it was a great day to be a butterfly fan. Fairchild will continue educating the community about these winged wonders and will most certainly keep celebrating our butterfly buddies.
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