FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Hundreds of creepy crawlers are at the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center Arena in Fayetteville on October 27 for the University of Arkansas’ 2022 Insect Festival.

Around 3,000 people come out to the Insect Festival each time it’s held to get an up-close view of collections of live and dead insects. You can also race the cockroaches and let them crawl all over you or see bees on a honeycomb.

The organizers said most of the festival’s visitors are kids on school field trips, but even for the grown-ups, they said it’s a great way to learn.

Organizers said it’s important now more than ever for people to learn about bugs since many insect populations are dwindling.

“In terms of pollinating bees and things, insects are really in a precarious position right now. Populations are being reduced because of changes in the environment, changes in land. So it’s important that we educate people about just how important they are in our lives,” said Ken Korth the Department Head of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and Bumpers College.

Organizers said they are always surprised by how many people will “shoo” a bug away inside their homes but will come out to the Insect Festival to be surrounded by them.

“They’ll learn more about the role of insects, maybe have a little more respect for the role they play in our lives, maybe think twice before stomping on the bugs,” said Fred Miller, a Science Editor in the Communications Office of the research arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The 2022 Insect Festival starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. It is a free event and open to the public.

If you miss this year’s Insect Festival, you’ll be able to catch it again in 2024.