According to my Facebook feed, last weekend was the weekend to visit the mountains. Lots of my friends went to Yosemite or Sequoia National Forest. Seeing some of their pictures reminded me of how beautiful our forests are. I was keeping that in mind while I was trying to plan my weekend ahead. While perusing facebook on Tuesday, I saw something about a Butterfly Festival in Mariposa this weekend.
I’ve been to Mariposa only once. The only thing I know about it is that they have a library, and a super cool pumpkin patch. My friend took us up there a couple of years ago to the pumpkin patch. We packed a lunch, took a hay ride around the property, and came home with some pretty awesome pumpkins. What I remember most was that the air was crisp and clean, and that it was absolutely beautiful.
When reading about the Mariposa Butterfly Festival, I thought that this would be another opportunity to be able to experience the beauty of our local mountainous area. Also, I love butterflies. My cousin use to love butterflies and whenever I see a white one, I always think of him. Always. Butterflies are filled with beauty, and the way they flutter by is almost magical.
The Mariposa Butterfly Festival is a free event that is located in downtown Mariposa. The festival will begin Saturday, April 30th, and go until Sunday, May 1st. (There is also a food tasting and butterfly hat competition that is held from 5:30-9:30pm on Friday the 29th. This part of the event is held at the Mariposa Senior Center.) You can check out their full schedule here, but let me give you a run down of some of the events.
On Saturday the festival will go from 9am-6pm. During that time there will be food and artisan vendors, live music and entertainment, as well as sidewalk chalk art. Other special events that will happen throughout the day will be the parade from 10am-12pm, with a butterfly release to follow. From 11:30am-2pm there will be a skateboard competition.
On Sunday the festival will go from 9am-4pm. There will be live music and entertainment from 1pm-4pm, as well as all the same vendors from the day before. Butterflies will be released throughout the day.
I’ve never been to the Mariposa Butterfly Festival, but in looking at the pictures online, I can tell that this really is a family fun event. What I love most about this is that this event involves the whole community. It begins with the actual name-Mariposa. Did you know that mariposa is Spanish for butterfly? Google it, I promise! So, butterfly things are all around Mariposa anyway. When the organizers of the festival get in the caterpillars, they send them to the local schools to help grow them. They also send some to Valley Children’s Hospital, and the children there get to release them after they’ve grown. With all these butterflies floating around town (see what I did there?), this gives teachers a chance to educate the students on the life cycle of butterflies. Then, when it comes time for the festival, many of the children take part. There is the parade, there are child friendly events and crafts, and there is of course, the butterfly release. Children are given oranges for carrying the butterflies around, and they are free to fly away whenever they choose. (The butterflies, not the children.) Can you imagine all the beautiful butterflies flying around?! It make me smile to just think of it!
I can’t wait for this event! It should be perfect weather for being outdoors, so head on up the mountains this Saturday or Sunday. I hope to see some of you there!