Downtown Riverside will be bugged in a big way Saturday for the fifth annual “Insect Fair,” featuring an assortment of creepy crawlers for people to see, touch and possibly taste.

The UC Riverside Department of Entomology, in partnership with the city, is staging the event outside the Riverside Metropolitan Museum on Mission Inn Avenue, between Lemon and Orange streets.

Several thousand people are expected to visit the exhibition, which gets underway at 10 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m.

Insects considered parasites and pests, as well as others consumed as delicacies in some parts of the world, will be available for visitors to check out.

“Guests will experience the world of insects as they count the little critters through a microscope, learn about pollen as they play games and get the chance to enter a butterfly tent,” city spokesman Phil Pitchford said.

This year’s bug fest will feature Chef Robert Sevaly, who will demonstrate the ways insects end up on dinner tables, whipped up as culinary delights.

Andy Harkness, author and illustrator of “Bug Zoo,” will share passages from his work and relate experiences as a Disney Animation Studios artist.

According to organizers, there will be giant stag beetles, bird-eating tarantulas, swallowtail butterflies, palm-sized grasshoppers, praying mantises, centipedes, scorpions and other insects.

UCR entomology students and professors will be available to answer questions — and put visitors at ease.

Grade school students interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — careers will be invited to participate in a variety of activities, Pitchford said.

More than 40 vendors will be on hand, selling books, treats, plants, extermination supplies and other items.

More information about the fair is available at or .

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