HUTCHINSON — Even pollinators like to dine at the Kansas State Fair.
The Kansas State Fair’s Education Department is recognizing the important role of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects during National Pollinator Week while having some fun at the same time.
The Fairgrounds will be abuzz June 23 with the Fair’s inaugural Pollinator Picnic. The day’s festivities are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and include hands-on activities at the Fair’s Education Center, talks at the Lake Talbott pollinator garden and food trucks. The Fair’s new mascot, Ike, will also make an appearance for photos at 5:30 p.m. at the Education Center.
Food trucks include a Pronto Pup trailer, along with cheese curd and funnel cake vendors. Fair staff also will be giving away 200 seeded sunflower plants and 2020 Pollinator Partnership posters.
Pollinators are vital to production agriculture. The global food supply relies on pollinators for crops to flourish. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that one out of every three bites of food Americans eat exists because of pollinators.
The Fair has expanded its pollinator education the past few years, which includes four pollinator gardens across the Fairgrounds and curriculum centered on their significance.
The Pollinator Party is free and open to the public. Vendors will be selling food from their trucks. The Fair’s Sunflower Gift Shop also will be open in the Education Center. While the event is mainly outside, the Fair reminds people to be considerate of others and to social distance. Hand sanitizer stations will be on location, but visitors are also encouraged to bring their own sanitizer. For more information, email Jacki Eckert at Jacki.Eckert@ks.gov.
PHOTO: A bee rests on a sunflower in one of the Kansas State Fair Pollinator Gardens. Photo by Jacki Eckert. https://s3.amazonaws.com/ss-usa/companies/MzawMLEwNDSzBAA/uploads/Sunflower_Bee_by_jacki_Eckert.jpg