A new festival will happen in Republic, WA July 24 & 25, The Grasshopper Festival. The idea emerged during last year’s boom grasshopper season. We asked ourselves: why not use one of our abundant resources (and pests) to create something fun and beneficial for our community? Then we learned so, much, more about grasshoppers!
Our purpose is to have a fun community event, while also supporting grasshoppers as a good, healthy, human food—in lots of fun, silly, and tasty ways. Yes, we’ve learned they are a good, nutritious source of protein! No one “must” eat a bug, but don’t you want to see someone else eat one? How about a selfie and a t-shirt?
Wild ideas hopped to the fore: a bug costume contest followed by a parade with costumes, bug cars, drill teams, percussion bands; a ScareCritter Contest (think insect scarecrow); things to see and do for all ages, like insect mask and piñata making, a homemade musical instruments workshop, local artists and food; storytelling; grasshopper habitats and contests; natural pest control info; and food with grasshopper themes, both fantasy and the real thing! What makes our festival unique? Grasshoppers to eat, of course!
We are also very fortunate to have the nationally known Bug Chef coming to Republic. David George Gordon, author of The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, will give two presentations, prior to the festival, to entertain and educate us about bug cuisine and this new food movement. Also the author of 20 other books, he recently served insect hors d’oeuvres at The Explorers Club in New York City, and, he’s been helping promote The Box Trolls movie (they eat insects, you know) with an insect food truck!
Another great opportunity has emerged from this crazy idea—raising grasshoppers for profit. Surprisingly, grasshoppers are a desirable product (we have buyers!), inexpensive to grow, and highly priced. Thus, we have formed a group of growers, who will be providing local hoppers to sample at the first annual Grasshopper Festival.
Hop on over to Republic, where we’ve turned lemons into lemonade, grasshopper style.
FIND OUT MORE:
Facebook Page: The Grasshopper Festival
Facebook Groups: Grasshopper Festival Planning Group; and Hopper Farming
Contact: Sarah Wilson, 509-775-0212, P. O. Box 603, Republic, WA 99166