Insect Fest to Feature New Attractions

COLUMBUS, Ga. The debut of cockroach racing, along with insect cuisine and honey extraction demonstrations, will highlight Insectival, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 9 at Columbus State Universitys Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.

In its eighth year, the festival has become a local summer tradition, drawing between 300 and 400 guests who experience the world of insects through entertainment and interactive displays.

After its debut was rained out during last years event, the cockroach races will offer interactive fun for visitors who can select a color-coded competitor - from among Oxbows Madasgascar hissing cockroaches in four, hourly contests. Prizes will be awarded to those selecting the winning roaches.

The races should rival the insect snacks and honey extraction demonstration as the event's more popular attractions, said Jim Trostle of Oxbow Meadows, who is coordinating the event.

This year, festival-goers can sample chocolate-covered crickets, cricket-lick-it lollipops and seasoned mealworms. They also can purchase fresh honey, following honey extraction demonstrations at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. by the Chattahoochee Valley Beekeeper Association.

Experts, such as CSU biology professor Harlan Hendricks, also will be on site to answer questions and demonstrate both live and mounted species ranging from the familiar to the exotic, such as emperor scorpions and tarantulas.

Additional attractions will be:

  • Cricket-spitting contests, hourly from 1-3 p.m.
  • Auburn Universitys Alabama Fire Ant Management Program demonstration
  • Pine bark beetle display by the Georgia Forestry Commission
  • Crafts, games, a scavenger hunt and insect tattoos for children
  • Refreshments on sale

Admission costs $2 per person and free for children age 4 and under. Oxbow Meadows is located at 3535 South Lumpkin Rd., Columbus. For more information, call 706-687-4090 or visit