Ladybugs freedom flight

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will host its third annual kid-friendly Ladybug Release beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday about 150,000 ladybugs are released to prey on aphids and other harmful insects.

“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

While Mel Gibson’s iconic quote from “Braveheart” (1995) is unlikely to be shouted from the corners of the gardens at Magnolia Plantation, legions of ladybugs will be released skyward at the third annual Ladybug Release. A red Volkswagen beetle, decked out like the bespeckled insect, will signal the start of the mass exodus, as children take their own containers of ladybugs to assist.

Kids are encouraged to dress as ladybugs for a costume contest and other activities include face painting, storytelling, nature displays, interactive demonstrations and more.

Ladybugs are natural predators to harmful insects, making them environmentally friendly to the gardens.

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

where: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston

price: $15 adult; $10 ages 6-12 years; free for children 5 years and younger

more info: 843-571-1266,