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posted: 8/25/2014 12:33 PM

Waukegan library's Monarch Festival emphasizes movement

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  • Families enjoy the climbing wall at last year's Waukegan Public Library Monarch Festival.

      Families enjoy the climbing wall at last year's Waukegan Public Library Monarch Festival.
    Courtesy of Waukegan Public Library

  • Performers from Ballet Folclorrico Erandi at last year's Waukegan Public Library Monarch Festival.

      Performers from Ballet Folclorrico Erandi at last year's Waukegan Public Library Monarch Festival.
    Courtesy of Waukegan Public Library

 
Waukegan Public Library submission

The Waukegan Public Library presents the fifth annual Monarch Festival on Sunday, Sept. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Clayton and County streets in downtown Waukegan.

The Monarch Festival is a free family event dedicated to raising awareness in the community about the environment, healthy living, and the importance of physical activity and exercise.

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This year, the library is presenting bike stunts by pro BMX rider Matt Wilhelm, an "America's Got Talent" semifinalist. Wilhelm is known as the fastest spinner in the world on a BMX bike and has earned three X-Games medals. His show includes topics about bike safety, motivation, and perseverance.

In addition to the bike stunts, there will be a demonstration by the Waukegan Police Department K-9 Unit and traditional Mexican cultural dancing by Erande.

Activities at the festival include a climbing wall, a radar soccer kick game, free face painting, and the chance to fly a quad copter, courtesy of the Boy Scouts of America Northeast Illinois Council.

In addition to local restaurants offering a variety of food and drinks, the Chicago Botanic Garden Green Youth Farm will sell fresh fruits and vegetables from its local farmers market.

The festival uses the flight and movement of the Monarch butterfly to teach families about the importance of staying active and eating healthy. Booths highlight the fall migration of the Monarch butterfly from Illinois to Michoacan, Mexico, with activities such as hula-hooping, jump roping, and dancing to show the importance of the ecosystem to the survival of the Monarch.

For questions about the festival, the performers or exhibitors, call Rena Morrow, marketing and exhibits manager at the Waukegan Public Library, at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.

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