Annual Great Insect Fair

Story posted October 1, 2019 in CommRadio, News by Kristin Gjelaj

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- On Saturday, children and families all over Centre County came out to the annual Great Insect Fair hosted by the Penn State Entomology Department at the Snyder Agriculture Arena. 

Volunteers, ranging from undergraduates to the department head of entomology, set up personal interactive exhibits to raise awareness, advocate and protect insects vital to daily life.

This year's theme was about the loss of insects worldwide. Each volunteer wore a light blue shirt stating “Life with(out) insects” and actively engaged with all families. The fair was designed to be fun and interactive for students from kindergarten to age 12. There were stands set up for crafts, honey tasting, kid friendly games and even included vendors selling all things from insect novels to insect candies.

A professor of the entomology, Ed Rajotte, greeted individuals as they walked into the arena.

“We have been holding this event for more than 25 years," Rajotte said. "We typically get 4- to 6-thousand people to come to it and this has been actually a pretty good turnout today.”

The department also highlighted current personal research at the event. A member from the Center Of Pollinator Research shared his role at the event.

“My role here today is an educator, and to inspire conservation and land stewardship and to instill in children a conservation ethic to conserve pollinators and insect in general.”

The Department Head of Entomology, Gary W. Felton, said he was very pleased with this years turnout. 

“Much broader knowledge of it [role of insects] for the public is really what we’re hoping for,” Felton said.


Kristin Gjelaj is a junior majoring in print journalism and spanish. To contact her, email