Bug enthusiasts will gather together for a 10th year in a row — this time online at hokiebugfest.org — to celebrate the exciting science of entomology from Oct. 7-17.

This unique virtual event will feature 10 days of activities that culminate with a full day of online programming. The longer format is a key feature of the new virtual event, designed to increase engagement over an extended period. Festivalgoers can tune in each day from Oct. 7-16 to discover one of the 10 most extreme insects on Earth, go on a backyard scavenger hunt, download a daily at-home activity, or get a sneak peek at one of the festival’s main exhibits.

The full festival begins on Oct. 17 with over 30 virtual exhibits featuring insect videos, virtual tours, countless at-home activities, and other STEAM-inspired (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) adventures for all ages.

Virtual Hokie BugFest will include a spectacular photo gallery, including 3D arthropod imaging. You can meet the infamous members of the Hokie BugZoo on a virtual tour, watch honeybees in action on the Virginia Tech Hive Cam, or tune in for how-to videos like "Gardening for Pollinators."

In addition to on-demand content, Oct. 17 will have a schedule of featured events including:

  • “How to Bake Grasshopper Pie” with Scott Watson, executive chef at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
  • Hokie BugFest’s new Cockroach Derby with pre-race voting.
  • Insect stories read in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
  • Performances from Tony Gustin the Bug Whisperer, local meteorologist Brent Watts from WDBJ7, and bug magician Brandon Owens.

Hokie BugFest 2020 will have plenty of interactive content as well. Through the Hokie BugFest Facebook page, you can post your funniest bug joke on the new Arthropod Comedy Wall, or enter the Buggy Art Contest or new Lego Bug Challenge and win a prize. Be sure to vote for your favorite contest entry and cockroach racer during the 10-day lead up period.

You can also earn your Junior Entomologist Certificate by completing fun online activities. 

Hokie BugFest art contest submission of a mantis.
Artwork by Anish Aradhey, high school winner in the 2019 Hokie BugFest Art Contest. Voting for this year's contests and other interactive features of the festival will be available through the Hokie BugFest Facebook page

Hokie BugFest is one of Virginia Tech's largest science literacy events of the year. Don’t miss this unique festival with a 2020 virtual flare.

Visit hokiebugfest.org to learn more. 

Orange Baboon Spider
Go on a virtual tour of the Hokie BugZoo and meet this Orange Baboon Tarantula (Pterinochilus murinus).

The event is sponsored by Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs, Virginia Tech Department of Entomology, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia 4-H, and the W.B. Alwood Entomological Society.

—   Written by Dana Beegle