David Folk has been bringing his Columbia County butterfly farm to Harrisburg for years.
“We have 1,600 butterflies and we have 11 different species of butterflies,” Folk said.
His exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show literally gives people a hands-on encounter.
“Let’s just say our only disgruntled customers are the little kids that are screaming and yelling because mommy is dragging them out,” Folk said laughing. “They’re like, ‘Mommy don’t take me from the butterflies!”
Guests are encouraged to use a Q-tip soaked in Gatorade to attract the colorful friends.
“Oh she loves it,” Taylor Townson of Mechanicsburg said of her 2-year-old daughter, Ellie. “She goes nuts. I love it!”
“I think it’s really cool because you can’t get this close to butterflies in the wild,” said 10-year-old Julia Bucheit of Hamburg.
Julia got to even hold a “Julia” butterfly during her visit Monday.
“This is probably our fifth year coming to the Farm Show complex and as soon as she saw the butterfly exhibit she was like, ‘I wanna go in,” Julia’s mom Cheryl Bucheit said. “She remembers it from last year, so it’s a neat experience.”
The butterflies are more than willing to cooperate and give you an up close and personal educational experience, but Folk warns: watch your step.
“We do lose a few from being stepped on, but the educational value is worth a whole lot more than those couple butterflies that we lose,” he said. “Most people would never get to see a butterfly up this close.”
The cost for the exhibit is $2 a person. Kids age 2 and under are free.
The exhibit is located along the back wall near the Maclay Street entrance. It will remain open through Saturday.
To learn more about Folk’s Butterfly Farm, you can check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FolksBF.