Mountain Monarch Festival

Gorges State Park | Saturday, Sept 24 | 11-3 pm

Join us for the 1st Annual Mountain Monarch Festival!

The festival will celebrate the monarch butterfly during its migration and bring attention to the species’ declining numbers. Gorges State Park lies along the monarch’s migratory route. The butterflies can be seen in late September each year flying over the park’s visitor center on their way south to the high-elevation fir forests of Mexico’s Neovolcanic Mountains, where they overwinter until early spring.

The festival will offer educational programs and exhibits featuring the monarch butterfly, including monarch-themed children’s crafts, live music, a food truck, a festive photo board, local art for sale and a Monarch Migration Passport to lead families through monarch-themed activities.

Monarch butterflies have two sets of deep orange and black wings and a wingspan of three to four inches. The migratory subspecies of the monarch was recently added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of the most threatened species on

Earth and is now listed as endangered. Those who wish to help monarchs return to healthy population levels can plant locally native milkweed and nectar flowers in their yards and support efforts to reduce pesticide use.

The Mountain Monarch Festival is sponsored by Friends of Gorges State Park and organized in partnership with Monarch Watch, N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, and N.C. Department of Commerce. Admission, music, and programs at the festival will be free.

The park requests that those who plan to attend register by emailing“Monarch Festival Registration” and the number of people in your party to The festival willbe held rain or shine.

Thank you to our event partners!

What to expect at the 1st Annual

Mountain Monarch Festival!

Friends + Public Welcome

Please come join us for this first annual event! We can’t put on these events without your support!

Vendor Booths

Vendors will be selling their hand crafted goods, native plants and much much more!  

A festive photo board!

See beautiful shots of monarch butterflies in our region!

Monarch Crafts + Activities

Come join in on the family-friendly fun with activities and crafts, including face painting!


Monarch Migration Passport Program

Work your way through all the festival has to offer with your own Monarch Migration passport!

Food Truck

Here’s the Deal will be serving up their delicious offerings!

Live Music!

Don’t miss Hawk Mountain playing during the festival!

Educational Programming

From lifecycle presentations to guided hikes and conversations with monarch specialists, you’ll be sure to learn a lot during the event!

Mountain Monarch Gear for Sale

The Gorges State Park Visitor Center will have Mountain Monarch gear for sale!

Our Business Sponsors

Event Schedule + Location

September 24, 2022

11:00 AM Event Begins

11:30 AM Monarch Lifecycle Presentation

12:30 PM Monarch Migration Presentation featuring entomologist Hayward Douglas

1:30 PM Monarch Tagging and Research

2:30 PM Butterfly Hike

3:00 PM Event Ends

Gorges State Park Visitors Center

The first annual Mountain Monarch Festival will take place at the Gorges State Park Visitors Center in Sapphire, NC on Saturday, September 24, 2022.

See the map at right for specific directions.

976 Grassy Ridge Road
Sapphire, NC 28774

GPS: 35.0960, -82.9510



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