The University of Richmond is celebrating Spider spirit and pride all day on March 14, which is National Spider Day. University of Richmond invites everyone to wear their spider gear and UR’s colors of blue and red.

“There's only one spider mascot in higher education, and it’s the perfect day to showcase ‘Spider Pride’ on and off campus,” said Sam Tannich, UR’s director of visual communications. “We hope the entire community will enjoy it.”

On campus, students, faculty and staff will be able to take photos with giant spider cut-outs and celebrate spider-themed dining options, including opportunities to sample foods made with crickets.

“Since spiders eat crickets, we thought it would be fun to showcase some of the products that use crickets as a food source,” said Maya Vincelli, assistant director of retail operation. “We’ll have cricket chips and cricket energy bars.”

For the second year, the campus community can also check out a number of tarantulas, including Tarrant, a female greenbottle blue tarantula and the men’s basketball mascot. Staff and students in the biology department help care for and study the spiders. This event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second floor of Tyler Haynes Commons.

Jennifer O’Donnell, a lab manager and animal care specialist at UR, loves to show off the spiders and educate people on the many valuable purposes they serve. Not only are they an important food source for birds and fish, they also keep pesky insects at bay in gardens. Their venom also is used in research for new medicines and eco-friendly pesticides. Designers have created new technologies and plans for architecture by studying spider webs.

“Spiders are fascinating creatures, and we are grateful for the opportunity to keep learning and sharing our love of all spiders,” said O’Donnell.

Social media hashtags include #SpiderDay and #SpiderPride.

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