A butterfly's wings are like a painted canvas that brings forth beauty, wonder and inspiration. These are also the tenants of the annual Flutterby Festival. Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), the 2013 Flutterby Festival will return to Rosemary Beach, Nov. 9-10, celebrating the migration of the Monarch Butterfly and inspiring creativity.



"Rosemary Beach is the perfect setting for this beloved event," said Jennifer Steele, executive director of the CAA. "Families can spend quality time together listening to music, playing games, enjoying performances, learning about butterfly plants and creating artwork.”



Each year, the Monarch Butterfly travels through the region en route to Mexico. They feed on the nectar of many plants, but only lay their eggs on milkweed, making this plant critical for this species.



"Nature is fragile and it is our job to keep it healthy," said Master Naturalist Snookie Parrish. "If we lose our pollinators, we lose the food we eat. We have many species in peril and the Flutterby Festival provides a wonderful forum to build interest in nature and to educate future generations."



Parrish will join other members of the Walton County Master Gardener Association to host educational workshops and hands-on activities to educate families on butterflies and discuss why Monarch Butterflies are especially unique. The group will also share tips for creating a butterfly garden at home and lead an interactive session where children will create their own biodegradable pot and receive a butterfly plant to start their garden.



As part of the annual tradition, children can also decorate their own butterfly wings to wear in the butterfly costume parade each afternoon at 3 p.m. Kids also enjoy using their creativity to build butterfly puppets and other crafts. Student artwork, including hundreds of butterfly paintings created by Walton County students, will be on display throughout the festival.



Butler Elementary fourth grader, Hannah Storey, captured both art and nature with her colorful butterfly design, which was chosen as the 2013 festival poster winner. Her artwork will be displayed prominently on all festival posters and t-shirts as well as displayed with the other student artwork at the event. In addition, Hannah will receive a scholarship to attend after-school art programs taught by Ms. Art (Constance Rogers) at Eden State Gardens and the Bayou Arts Center through the rest of the school year.



The Flutterby Festival will also feature special choreographed performances, celebrating butterflies and nature through dance, by 30A Dancewave, and 30A Ballet will make its Flutterby Festival debut. There will also be musical performances by the Ohana Bands, along with fun kids music by South Walton’s 2014 Performer of the Year Mike Whitty. Performances by The Seaside Repertory Theatre will include audience participation and lots of laughs. Interactive artist booths, including Meyer Boarding Company and Moore Family Folk Art, will allow families to purchase the materials to create a custom skimboard or skateboard or a personal artwork on board. Street games, face painting, hula hooping, and street and mural painting, ensure there is non-stop entertainment throughout the weekend.



On the Rosemary Beach East Green, families are invited to walk through Cottages for Kids whimsical playhouses, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Children's Volunteer Health Network later in the month.