09ButterfliesThe weekend of June 21-23, Sustainable Sandhills will join forces with local businesses and organizations to celebrate pollinators. It’s only fitting, as June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week. Dubbed “Pollipalooza,” the local event creatively spotlights the many ways pollinators like bees, bats and butterflies impact our world — and our wellbeing.

“Pollinators are vital to our ecology,” said Jonelle Kimbrough, executive director of Sustainable Sandhills. “We wanted to draw attention to the fact that pollinator populations are in decline.

“One-third of the food we eat depends on pollination. We wanted an outlet to bring awareness to the community about the importance of pollination. We thought a fun event that would highlight food and beverages that are pollinated would be a fun.”

Kimbrough noted that a lot of people don’t realize that tea plants depend on pollination. Winterbloom Tea came to mind as the perfect partner to showcase this fact. From 7:30-9 p.m., Friday, June 21, join the Pollipalooza Tea Party at 238 Hay St. Tickets cost $35 and include a hot and cold tea tasting, a honey tasting by Beehive Yourself and sweets by Ariana’s Cakes. There will also be an auction featuring items by Fayetteville Pie Company, The Household 6 Catering, Ariana’s Cakes, Sustainable Sandhills and more. Tickets can be purchased at www.pollipalooza.com.

Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., visit Sink Field at Methodist University to learn about pollinators and how to make your outdoor space inviting for these essential creatures. There will be educational workshops, including Beekeeping 101 and Gardening for Pollinators, as well as children’s activities and vendors. Tickets cost $5 at the gate.

“People can come to attend the workshops and learn about plants that pollinate and that bees are attracted to,” said Kimbrough. “And the Beekeeping 101 workshop will cover equipment, resources and certifications (involved with beekeeping).”

Saturday, June 22, from 5-8 p.m., Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom will host “Nature’s Nectar: Bites and Brews Pollinator Party.” The offerings all focus on pollinated products. This event features a flight of five beer and wine creations— all influenced by pollinators’ efforts. The ticket price also includes a flight of five tapas-style delicacies, also featuring pollinated ingredients. There will be a live band and a silent auction as well. Tickets cost $55 and are available at www.pollipalooza.com.

Sunday, June 23, enjoy Dirtbag Ales Famers Market from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The market will maintain a focus on pollinated products in honor of National Pollinator Week. Vendors offerings include local honey, flowers, candles and produce. There will also be live music, craft beer and food trucks.

Sustainable Sandhills will have an information booth and will be selling wildflower seeds and a Build-A-Buzz Children’s craft. The farmers market is free to attend. Prices for individual activities and products vary from vendor to vendor.

A portion of the proceeds from Pollipalooza will go to Sustainable Sandhills, whose mission statement is: Through education, demonstration, and collaboration we are dedicated to supporting and enhancing the communities and environments of the Sandhills region for current and future generations. Find out more about Sustainable Sandhills at its website, www.sustainablesandhills.org.

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