FLUTTERBY AND STAY AWHILE: Annual Festival Takes Flight in Rosemary Beach Nov. 12 and 13

Fall is in the air. Cooler temperatures and the famous golden glitter of Monarch butterflies is a welcome change for many. To celebrate the season, the Flutterby Festival, coming to Rosemary Beach Nov. 12 and 13, is the place for kids to flitter and adults to enjoy art, nature and cuisine in one spectacular location.

Festival attendees will enjoy live music, interactive storytelling adventures, animal encounters and an array of artists, vendors and exhibitors. Live entertainment will be provided by area school music programs, including the Ohana Institute, the Tesla Academy and Studio 237. There will also be performances by Seaside Dancewave.

Activities, including street games, face painting, hula hooping, and street and mural painting, will create interactive opportunities for kids to join the fun. As part of the annual tradition, children create their own butterfly wing masterpieces to be worn for the butterfly costume parade each afternoon at 3 p.m.

In addition, kids will enjoy using their creativity to build butterfly puppets and make other crafts, including decorating a butterfly plant pot in which to grow their own seeds. Throughout the weekend, Master Gardener Snookie Parrish will be on hand teaching children the art and science of building their own butterfly garden, and kids will have the opportunity to take home a butterfly plant.

Hundreds of butterfly paintings, created by Walton County students, will be on display throughout the festival, including the 2011 Flutterby Festival poster winner’s creation — a butterfly designed by Paxton Elementary School Fifth Grader Katie Truett. Eleven other student works were chosen and will be featured in a new set of note cards that are representative of the fun and magical event. The proceeds from the sale of the note cards ($20 for set of 12) will benefit Walton County teachers and students through the CAA’s Educational Giving Program, which provides $20,000 in grants and scholarships annually.

“Supporting the arts in Walton County’s schools is at the core of our mission,” said Jennifer Steele, executive director of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. “By showcasing the talent of our local students at the Flutterby Festival, we celebrate their artistic expression and creativity while raising much-needed funds that will go back into their classrooms through educational grants.”

On the East Green, Children’s Volunteer Health Network’s Cottages for Kids’ whimsical cottages, ranging from fairytale creations to modern designs, will be on display for families to view the tremendous imagination and craftsmanship of these playhouses, which will be raffled on Nov. 26.

Sponsored by the Merchants of Rosemary Beach, the Flutterby Festival will take place from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, offering residents and visitors alike a fun-filled weekend outdoors in South Walton.

The Flutterby Children’s Arts Festival is sponsored by the Merchants of Rosemary Beach. Other sponsors include the Rosemary Beach Property Owners Association, SoWal.com, Rip’s Professional Lawn Care and Dannecker, Inc. Admission to the Flutterby Festival is free, although some activities may require a small fee. For more information, please visit CulturalArtsAlliance.com or call 850-622-5970.

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