Fun at the Fair with Entomologists and Insects

Fun at the Fair with Entomologists and Insects

If fair time is fun time--and it is--just add insects to make it even more fun.

Entomologists from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis, will showcase insects, both specimens and live critters, in the Floriculture Building at the 143rd annual Dixon May Fair on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12.

Entomologist Jeff Smith, who curates the butterfly and moth section at the Bohart Museum, will be greeting fairgoers from 2 to 8 p.m., Friday, and displaying collections of bees and butterflies and other specimens, as well as a host of residents from the museum's live "petting zoo."

In addition, Smith plans to bring 10 display drawers that will make you exclaim "Oh, wow!"

And then there are the hissers.

"We had hissing roaches (Madagascar hissing cockroaches) and walking sticks at the Sierra College Science Day on Sunday and, of course, they are a huge hit with kids," Smith said.

Tarantulas also might make a presence.

"We have five tarantulas at the Bohart," said director Lynn Kimsey, professor of entomology at UC Davis. They are Coco McFluffin, Peaches, Princes Herbert, Elsa the Fiesty and ChaCha."

Friday is Kids' Day at the fair when children 12 and under receive free admission all day.

Saturday, May 12

Then on Saturday, May 12, Bohart Museum associate and entomology graduate student Charlotte Herbert (of Princess Herbert fame!) will head the insect museum's tabling activity in the Floriculture Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  She will be joined by Bohart associate and UC Davis student Emma Cluff,  and insect enthusiast George Alberts, Herbert's fiance.

The four-day Dixon May Fair  opens Thursday, May 10 at 4 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m. on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13. Theme of this year's fair is "Home Grown Fun." Also known as the  36th District Agricultural Association Fair, it's located at 655 S. First St.. Hours are from 4 to 10 p.m. on Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

The fair is the oldest district fair and fairgrounds in California, according to chief administrative officer Patricia Conklin. It is linked closely with  the communities of Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Elmira, Woodland and Davis.

The Bohart Museum is a world-renowned insect museum that houses a global collection of nearly eight million specimens. It also maintains a live “petting zoo,” featuring walking sticks, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, tarantulas and praying mantids. A gift shop, open year around, offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.  The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The museum is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free. More information on the Bohart Museum is available by contacting (530) 752-0493 or The website is