Raleigh festival makes national list of 'wacky' events

Posted July 10, 2013
Updated July 11, 2013

BugFest, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science’s one-day celebration of all things creepy crawly, has been named among the 10 “wackiest” summer events across the nation by a leading travel website.

The list from was released Tuesday and includes events that were hand-picked for their fun and affordability.

BugFest shares the list with Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Ind., the Wayne (Neb.) Chicken Show, the National Lentil Festival in Pullman, Wash., and the Internet Cat Video Festival in St. Paul, Minn.

“Travelers looking to blow off some steam this summer without breaking the bank can enjoy these zany events that celebrate the offbeat and creative spirit of America,” Brooke Ferencsik, communications director at TripAdvisor, said in a statement.

BugFest is free and draws thousands to downtown Raleigh for insect-themed fun for adults and children. The event includes Café Insecta, where adults and children can sample bugs dishes cooked up by local chefs.

“All of us at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are absolutely thrilled that BugFest is among TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Wacky U.S. Summer Events,” said Emelia Cowans, assistant communications director for the museum. “As the museum’s largest event of the year, crowds of more than 30,000 embark on downtown Raleigh to enjoy a full day of turning their fears into fascination.”

This year’s event will be Sept. 21, with a special cooking event being held the day before to kick things off. The BugFest Critter Cook-off – at 11 a.m. Sept. 20 – will be an Iron Chef-style competition between chefs from Mandolin Restaurant and Jimmy V’s Steak House and Tavern.


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  • Cock a doodle doo Jul 12, 2013

    @ Huey, it's real and it's delicious.

  • livinonfaith Jul 11, 2013

    My family and I have been to Bug fest and had a blast! The exhibits are incredibly interesting. And, yes, we sampled some of the food. (My son was more adventurous than I. He could eat the larger whole insects, like crickets, but I only sampled smaller things that were mixed into food, like mealworms.) A great way to get your rough and tumble kid into science. A lot of kids love gross stuff!

  • Huey Jul 10, 2013

    Please tell me that is not a real bug in the kid's mouth. Maybe just a chocolate shaped bug. Either way, that is about the grosses graphic on WRAL's website in a long time.

  • Cock a doodle doo Jul 10, 2013

    This is wonderful. The event is so well done, and has been growing over the years. This can bring more tourism and dollars downtown. The Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown truly is one of the best I have been to in this country. We are truly blessed to have such an asset available to our citizens and young children!

  • Scubagirl Jul 10, 2013

    YEA!!! Something GOOD coming out of NC these days.

  • mfarmer1 Jul 10, 2013


  • venitapeyton Jul 10, 2013

    Awesome! We're fortunate to have parents and teachers who work hard to make science interesting and fun.