You spot the biggest, nastiest spider in your bedroom. What do you do? 1. Live and let live.  2. Smash! 3. Burn the house down. FYI, insurance probably won’t cover second-degree arson. Attending the Antelope Island Spider Fest may help you decide on the more practical and merciful choice No. 1. Entering its seventh year, the fest dispels myths that spiders are pests, and explains why spiders are valuable to Utah’s ecosystem, even the bad black widow. The main point: Spiders eat the real pests, like ants, flies and mosquitoes.

Primarily, Spider Fest focuses on Antelope Island’s resident spiders, including wolf spiders, jumping spiders, funnel-weavers, orb-weavers and, yep, black widows. Bring the kids to watch spider presentations, make crafts, bang on drums to mimic how spiders communicate and take guided walks. To find spiders.Antelope Island Spider Fest

“When we go on our guided walks, we’ll let folks get as close as they’re comfortable getting,” says Wendy Wilson, Antelope Island’s resident spider savant. If you prefer having safety glass between you and the spiders, many will be in terrariums as well. New this year, the festival will include spider poetry and storytelling, which apparently is a thing.

Wilson expects about 1,000 guests at this year’s event. Even if you’d rather “burn them all,” she hopes you’ll be among them. “It’s just good to learn more about the critters that live with us,” she says. “Come up and see what you can learn.”

  • Where: Antelope Island State Park Visitors Center
  • When: Saturday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Click here for more info.