Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How the Bug & Bud Festival Began

I have told the story before on this blog that our vision to have a store that focused on the ladybug was inspired by the fact that the ladybug became Delaware’s official state bug thirty-five years ago after an elementary school class in Milford lobbied the State Legislature for this. So it was natural that when we had the grand opening of the LadyBug Shop in fall of 2003 we invited the class’s teacher, Mollie Brown Rust, and all the students (now grown up, many with children of their own) to attend the opening. Mollie Brown did come, as well as a number of her students.

During the grand opening event I talked with Mollie about how the City of Milford had celebrated both the 10th and 20th anniversary of the State Legislature’s decision, but that I had not heard anything about a celebration of the 30th anniversary, which would be the following April. She said that she did not think that anything was being planned—so then and there I promised her that I would try to organize a celebration.

The next week I talked with Don Abrutyn, who headed Milford’s downtown revitalization organization ( and Gary Emory, the head of Milford’s Parks and Recreation Department. Both men were enthusiastic about the idea of an event to celebrate the anniversary. And Gary immediately suggested that we should combine it with recognition of Arbor Month, since Milford had just joined the national Tree City program and was committed to some form of public recognition of that event. A few days later it was also Gary who came up with the idea that the festival be called the “Bug & Bud” festival.

As they say, the rest is history! Within weeks a committee was formed, planning meetings were underway and within a short time the event was announced with fanfare. A family-oriented spring festival was seen by all as a nice addition to the City’s calendar, as a popular festival was already held each fall in downtown Milford.

The first event was so popular that it seemed that without any discussion it was decided that this would be an annual event, and so it has become. This year we will have our 5th Bug & Bud Festival on Saturday April 26. And we are looking forward to many more in future years.

To learn more about the Bud & Bud Festival and to read the account written by Mollie Brown about how her class petitioned the Delaware State Legislature visit

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Fun Ladybug Game