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At Bugapalooza, Creepy Crawlers Take Center Stage

By Paul Biasco | August 2, 2013 6:14am
 Bugapalooza will be held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Friday night.
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LINCOLN PARK — The Beatles aren't playing in Grant Park this weekend, but in Lincoln Park, beetles — and a variety of other bugs — will be the stars of the show.

Friday night, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will be host to visitors who are into all things creepy and crawly.

The fifth annual Bugaplooza is a literal celebration of all things bugs and will allow guests to not only witness a special evening butterfly release from the museum's Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, but also eat a few critters that night.

The two bug-based recipes on tap for the event are "crunch nachos" featuring meal worms, and "chirpy chex," which features a mix of crickets.

"It's a big topic that people get a little freaked out about," said Celeste Troon, the museum's director of living collections. "They try it and realize it's not bad."

Troon said the bugs don't have a bad taste, but are a bit more crunchy than a normal snack.

Other events on tap include a bug walk during which participants will pick up bugs and bring them back to the museum to examine and identify them with scientists on staff.

Guests will also learn how to pin insects, get a chance to interact with the leaf cutter ant colony, discover how bees produce honey and feed bugs in the bug zoo.

A bee keeper will be on hand with different pieces of a beehive to explain the honey process and will teach kids how to do the "bee dance."

Some of the insects that will be on display include a desert millipede, a centipede, the museum's famed tarantula "Harriet," who is at least 15 years old, an emperor scorpion and a cactus long-horn beetle.

Tickets to the event, which runs from 5-7 p.m., are $10 for adult members and $7 for child members. Nonmember adults are $15 and children are $10.