Kentucky Bat Festival celebrates a misunderstood creature

Gabi Celani

The Second Chance Wildlife Center hosted the Kentucky Bat Festival on October 22 at Sawyer Hayes Community Center. It acts as both a fundraiser for the non-profit and an educational experience for the public about bats.

Attendees could meet a variety of bats, including Second Chance’s very own Pepperoni, a one-winged Eastern Red “bat-fluencer.” Pepperoni was rescued after kids had thrown rocks at her, resulting in her wing being amputated. Other bats included a Big Brown bat and two Egyptian Fruit bats. According to a volunteer, the live bats seemed to be what visitors enjoyed the most.

Two presentations marked the start of the festival; the first was from the director of Second Chance with general information about bats, such as debunking myths and highlighting threats, followed by a presentation about biodiversity in Kentucky.

The festival hosted Gary Brewer and the Kentucky Ramblers, a local bluegrass band, as well as multiple small businesses. Visitors could purchase items, such as a signed Pepperoni storybook or bat guano to fertilize their garden, and participate in a silent auction.

This year is the second Bat Festival Second Chance has hosted, and the volunteer states that “every year we’re adding something new. […] Whether it’s organization-based or the amount of tickets we’re able to sell.”

Although the Kentucky Bat Festival is over, Second Chance still devotes themselves to helping these flying mammals.