Martinsville, Virginia


Earth Day on Starling

By: Lauren Brooke Ellis | Programs and Public Relations Coordinator

April 7, 2024

Family Fun

Earth Day on Starling

On Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, the buzzword around Martinsville will be, “pollinator.” Bee City, as a Project Hope grant recipient, will host the first ever Bee Flight Festival. On Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bee City will be at the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Reptile Fest. In addition to all of the reptile-themed events and festivities offered by the VMNH, Bee City will be there with educational information, honey, flower seeds, and other pollinator-themed offerings. Admission fees to Reptile Fest are as followed:

$10 for ages 18-59
$5 for ages 3-17, college students and seniors 60+
Free for children under 3
Free for VMNH members,
Free for ASTC Passport members
Free for EBT cardholders who present their EBT card and official photo ID.

On Saturday, April 20 the Bee Flight Fest will spread down Starling Avenue. This massive block party will partner with the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Reptile Festival, Piedmont Arts’ Earth Day Family Day, and the YMCA. Saturday morning will kick off with a Fun Run hosted by the YMCA at 8:30 a.m. VMNH and Piedmont Arts will open at 10 a.m. Food, entertainment, crafts, face painting, and nature and pollinator education will be available at all locations. A massive scavenger hunt spanning all three locations will take place with the chance to win prizes on Saturday. Admission to Piedmont Arts and YMCA events are free. Admission fees for Reptile Fest are the same as those listed for Friday.

Slither your way into the Virginia Museum of Natural History on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day for the annual Reptile Festival. See extraordinary live animals, interact with reptile experts, and participate in reptile-themed games and crafts. Balloon animals, face painting, and food trucks will be available throughout both days of the event. Those who attend this event on Friday, April 19 may attend on Saturday for no additional charge.

Join the YMCA for a Bee Flight Fun Run on Saturday, April 20. Check-in will begin at 8 a.m. This non-competitive, friendly Fun Run will take the group a couple of laps around Starling. The Fun Run begins at 8:30 a.m. Registration for this event can be found on or any of the Bee City and partners’ social media accounts. Registration will open within the next couple of weeks.  This event will be held in conjunction with the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day. Events and activities will be taking place at the YMCA throughout the day.

Also on Saturday, April 20, the Gravely-Lester Art Garden, Piedmont Arts will be hosting their Earth Day Family Day. This event will consist of local artists and produce vendors, face painting from the Teen Arts Council, arts and crafts, and a community garden planting day. The Blue Ridge Regional Library will be present with puzzles and prizes and signing students up for their summer reading program. The Piedmont Arts galleries will be open and feature Salvador Dali: Les Chants de Moldoror, a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts curated exhibit. In addition, Citizens and Soldiers: The Mostly World War II Paintings by Ken Smith and Lintspiration by Meritha Alderman will also be on display. The Piedmont Arts galleries are always open and free to the public.

Saturday’s scavenger hunt will feature nine stops scattered amongst VMNH, the YMCA, the Gravely-Lester Art Garden, and the Piedmont Arts galleries. Scavenger hunt sheets with hints will be available at all locations. Volunteers at each stop will stamp the sheet. Collect all nine, fill out your information, and drop it off at Piedmont Arts for the chance to win terrific prizes.