Sunday brought out those who wouldn’t allow a little rain to dampen their parade. To be fair, there was no parade anyway, but you get the idea. On a day that felt more like a fall day, many gathered at the Crystal Lake Main Beach to share an interest, or two, with Monarchs & Music, a free butterfly fair and community band showcase.
This free event was an outstanding collaboration of conservation organizations and local bands to come together for a special cause.
The cause being the very special monarch butterfly, in what one might call fun meets education, with a side of activation.
It’s an afternoon of learning all about monarch butterflies, their lifecycle, planting pollinator gardens to help monarchs and other butterflies, created around a question and answer format where each table or tent provides an answer along the educational journey.
Address: 300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Presented by the Monarch Coalition and hosted by Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Monarchs & Music brings together these organizations and others, including the McHenry County Conservation District, Small Waters Education Inc., Creative Arts Inc., The Land Conservancy, The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee, and Countryside Flower Shop, Nursery & Garden Center.
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Complementing the monarch focus events in and around the Main Beach Pavilion was a community concert of various local bands, including the Crystal Lake Community Band, Knock on Wood Clarinet Ensemble, Cor Corps Horn Ensemble, and the Crystal Lake Community Band Jazz Band, playing in the Main Beach band shell.
While the weather wasn’t entirely cooperative, there were umbrellas and high spirits everywhere we turned. Unfortunately, battling a round of summer colds, we didn’t stick around too long, but I did manage to snap a few photos for those who didn’t make it out. And while you may have missed Monarchs and Music this year, I have no doubt that the organizations that participated would be more than happy to help you with any monarch butterfly questions and needs, as well as welcome your assistance in helping to return the monarchs to the glory that many of us remember from our childhoods.