Mariposa’s annual Butterfly Festival ushers in three days of family fun during an event that celebrates one of the area’s most iconic natural beauties. Spanish for butterfly, Mariposa was named for the many beautiful butterflies found in the area by early explorers.
Year after year visitors are amazed by the variety and amount of whimsical butterflies that inhabit the area in the springtime. The three-day festival, which takes place May 1-3, includes live butterfly releases, a children’s costume competition, games for the kiddies, Saturday’s annual parade through town and a variety of live musical entertainment. The event also showcases artists and crafts people exhibiting their works, roving entertainers and food vendors.
“The Mariposa Butterfly Festival brings together talented individuals in a fun, festive and wondrous setting that provides something for everyone to enjoy,” says volunteer Jeff Hentz of Mariposa. “This is an event-filled weekend that celebrates Mariposa County and creates memories of a lifetime. We encourage visitors to make their overnight accommodations so they won’t miss any of the great activities.”
Begin your weekend at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds Friday evening where, from 5 to 9 p.m., the Taste of Mariposa event showcases the county’s restaurants with appetizers, desserts, locally made beer and wine and the opportunity to meet many of the restauranteurs. Vittles are just $5.00. No host bar. Silent and live auctions and a Butterfly Hat Competition round out the festivities.
The morning of Saturday May 2 begins with a lively parade through the heart of town followed by butterfly releases. That afternoon, a free showing of the motion picture, “Flight of the Butterfly” will be aired at the Mariposa County High School theater. At noon, live entertainment and children’s costume contests take place at Arts Park.Then at 11 a.m., the Art and Artisan Show opens for browsing and shopping. Saturday evening, head once more to Arts Park for fire dancing performed by local performers, “Mana Fire, who will be accompanied with live music from Moon in Leo.
To wrap up the festival Sunday morning, be sure and take in the free burrito breakfast while listening to an array of inspirational music. A final children’s costume contest begins between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by more butterfly releases.
Overnight accommodations fill up quickly for this festive event. You can make it a romantic getaway by booking a stay at the Poppy Hill Bed and Breakfast Inn. Tel: 1-800-58-POPPY. Email:email@example.com.
Another reason to head to Mariposa and the Yosemite region: The wildflower season has started to blossom, putting forth beautiful splashes of color. Locals say it’s one of the best poppy shows they’ve seen in decades. Mariposa County’s wildflower display is especially concentrated in the Merced River Canyon, where the Merced River flows out of Yosemite Valley. In Mariposa, you are only forty minutes from Yosemite National Park and twenty minutes from the scenic Merced River. For more on Yosemite, visit www.yosemiteexperience.com.
For more information on the Mariposa Butterfly Festival please visit the Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau at www.homeofyosemite.com or call 1.866.HALF.DOME