Purdue Spring Fest offers fun, educational activities for entire family

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — From animals to insects and engineering to science, Purdue University’s Spring Fest proves that learning can be fun. The annual family festival takes place 10a to 4p April 18 and 19 on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. The event is free.

A Spring Fest attendee poses with a much, much larger than life grasshopper at last year's event. (Photo from Spring Fest Web site)

A Spring Fest attendee poses with a much, much larger than life grasshopper at last year's event. (Photo from Spring Fest Web site)

“Spring Fest is a fun way to engage with faculty, staff and students through educational activities,” said Danica Kirkpatrick, Spring Fest coordinator. “We have had over 40,000 attendees when the weather cooperates.”

Nine Purdue colleges and schools, Purdue Discovery Park, Purdue Libraries and the Indiana University School of Medicine are sponsoring games and activities.

The 19th annual Entomology Bug Bowl, a popular Spring Fest event, will feature a variety of insect-related activities and food. Cricket spitting and cockroach races again are headline events.

Local celebrities will judge the best insect performances during Bug Bowl Follies, a spoof of the “American Idol” television show. Two Bug Bowl Follies shows are scheduled, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. April 18, in Fowler Hall. Contestants will perform individually or in groups and show talent that incorporates insects through song, dance or other ways.

Purdue Libraries will celebrate the university’s 140th anniversary from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 18. Visitors can view an exhibit about university founder John Purdue and Purdue history.

Delta Lambda Phi will feature Construction Madness, where guests can learn how to make structures out of recyclable goods, Kirkpatrick said.

Discovery Park will offer games and activities that demonstrate brain functions, how beetles drink water in the desert, producing electricity with a bike, and much more.

The Purdue College of Agriculture invites festival goers to cheer on their favorite fish at the goldfish races, jump into a game of animal Twister, pet a rabbit, watch a rocket launch and make an Earth Day bracelet.

Among the dozens of other Spring Fest activities planned are Boilermaker Special rides, Physics FunFest, Vet Olympics, spay/neuter demonstration, Purdue Bluegrass Band, sheep shearing and equine treadmill demonstrations, Community Day at the new Grand Prix track and a scavenger hunt.

College of Agriculture departments with activities and displays include Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Animal Sciences, Biochemistry, Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, Food Science, Forestry and Natural Resources, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, and Youth Development and Agricultural Education.

Other Spring Fest participants include Purdue’s colleges of Science, Consumer and Family Sciences, Education, Liberal Arts, Engineering and Technology; and Purdue’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Krannert School of Management.

“This year Spring Fest will be ‘greener’ with our recycling program and using less paper,” Kirkpatrick said.

Spring Fest will take place regardless of the weather. No pets are allowed.

For more information and a complete list of Spring Fest activities, visit http://www.purdue.edu/springfest or call 1-888-EXT-INFO (398-4636). To download questions for the scavenger hunts on both festival days, visit http://www.ces.purdue.edu/sfest/games/scavenger.html

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