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Festival de la Monarca


Monarch Festival in East Chicago.
Monarch Festival Join TNC on Saturday, September 7, for the seventh annual Festival de la Monarca! © Fauna Creative


Event Overview

The Nature Conservancy's Festival de la Monarca on Saturday, September 7 celebrates the monarch butterfly as it migrates through East Chicago, Indiana. This FREE Festival also celebrates the monarch's cultural connections to Mexico through music, food and dance.

This is a unique, noncommercial event, connecting children and adults with nature they can relate to in a highly urban environment. The East Chicago Festival de la Monarca is a celebration of the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration to Mexico, and the event includes the release of monarch butterflies. As the butterflies fly more than 2,000 miles to their wintering grounds, their presence is noticed by area residents, some of whom believe them to be the returning souls of their ancestors.

Watch Our Monarch Festival Video

Among many Mexican communities in the Midwest and eastern United States, the monarch butterfly migration to Mexico is symbolic.

The butterflies that embark on the southbound journey were born in the United States and have never been to Mexico. And yet, they are driven by environmental factors to glide south until they reach the oyamel fir forests of Mexico, mainly in Michoacán.

“In Mexico, even before the Spanish colonization, you could see images of butterflies through stone carvings and paintings of Indigenous groups,” said TNC's Joel Perez-Castaneda.

Watch our Monarch Festival video to learn more about the monarch's cultural significance.  

The Festival de la Monarca is presented by The Nature Conservancy and by Mayor Anthony Copeland and the City of East Chicago.