UNIVERSITY PARK — The moment Batman hit the bottom of the tube, it took off running.
Seven-year-old Ian Kellner watched proudly as his cockroach sped by the competition and won the four-foot race.
Ian described the races as his favorite part of the 19th annual Great Insect Fair Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Thousands visited the fair, which featured thousands of insects and displays, family-friendly activities, food and live music.
Bonnie and Wayne Dorman said they have made attending the event a family tradition and have gone with their grandchildren for the past three years.
Wayne Dorman said his favorite part of the fair is just watching the children run around and experience everything around them.
“I think they learn a lot too,” Bonnie Dorman added.
Steve Jacobs, urban and public health entomologist at Penn State and chairman of the fair, said he was pleased with the turnout and very happy with the venue change to the BJC. The fair was previously held at the Snider Agricultural Arena but Jacobs said the event outgrew its former home and needed a larger space.
“Being in the Bryce Jordan Center is a good move for us,” he said.
It is uncertain if the change will be permanent, but Jacobs said he hopes they will be able to hold the event in the BJC for the foreseeable future.
He added that the event planners will hold a meeting after the fair to work on ways to improve it for next year. One thing Jacobs would like to see is a better flow of traffic and fewer lines.
“There is always a learning curve when coming into a new venue,” he said.
But Wayne Dorman said the new venue was “much better” and his family will likely be back for the fair’s 20th year.
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan