Daybreak residents swarm to ladybug festivalJul 06, 2017 03:08PM ● By Keyra Kristoffersen
Crowds of children help the butterflies on their way at the Ladybug Festival (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)
Ladybugs and other garden helpers were out in abundance with Daybreak residents at the Ladybug Festival on May 20 in South Jordan.
“For many years, it was just a small event where residents were able to come and purchase the container of ladybugs and then release them,” said Angela McGuire, one of the event organizers and resident of Daybreak for nine years. “My neighbor and I just started thinking about it and thought we could make this really fun for kids if we had a bunch of activities that were big related and could also be a learning experience, where they could learn about the bees and the ladybugs and what they do.”
McGuire partnered with LiveDaybreak, a nonprofit organization, run by a board of directors, which enables residents to do events inside of Daybreak. The organization is geared toward inviting projects based in the five values of Connecting, Lifelong Learning, Embracing Arts and Diversity, healthy Living and Giving Back in their community. LiveDaybreak works to help residents build community by doing arts, service and healthy living projects.
“I think it is awesome—totally awesome. Ladybugs are my favorite,” said 7-year-old Elena Gournaris.
Attendees were treated to fun bug-themed games with prizes, music from a DJ, red and black ladybug, and yellow and black bee cookies, and talks from Utah beekeepers about pollinators and the importance of bees to Utah ecology. There was even a ladybug mascot, a new addition for 2017. Ladybugs are the gardener’s best friend, said the event coordinators, they eat aphids and other bugs that can get into gardens and hurt plants.
“We have 250,000 ladybugs and 10,000 worms to sell, and 500 butterflies will go up today,” said Tanner Gooch, communications manager for LiveDaybreak.
Residents were able to purchase small tubs of ladybugs and worms to release into their home and community gardens for plant protection and to help with compost.
“It never hurts to get people out and garden, so we made an event to highlight the community garden,” said Gooch.
LiveDaybreak began the Ladybug Festival shortly after the community began growing, and, according to McGuire, it’s morphed and grown every year, with between 500–600 attendees.
“Initially, it was really small, and the last two years we’ve kind of turned it into a big fun party,” McGuire said. “This is the biggest we’ve ever seen.”
A lot of residents were excited to bring their children to play and learn about helpful gardening insects.
“I have a kid that’s obsessed with ladybugs, so for her this was perfect,” said Annie Reagan.
Residents were even treated to the release of 500 butterflies in the middle of the festival, with kids crowding around the tables, waiting to see butterflies let out into the neighborhood.
“The butterflies really did it for me,” said Tomi Lynn Clark, first-timer to the Ladybug Festival. Her family relocated to Daybreak in February. “I love it. This is wonderful. I committed to ladybugs and worms, and I’m excited.”
LiveDaybreak and residents are gearing up for a lot of upcoming summer events like the sixth annual Millie’s Princess Foundation Run at Soda Row on June 17, which helps raise money every year for two local families with children battling cancer, as well as Slide the City on Saturday, July 8 at Kestrel Rise Road and Lake Ave where residents one thousand feet of wet vinyl to slip and slide through the streets, and Fizz Fest coming up in August. Other free concerts, car shows and Food Truck League nights are also happening throughout the summer.For more information about future LiveDaybreak events, go to www.livedaybreak.com/happenings.