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Mariposa Butterfly Festival: Education, Preservation And Celebration

MARIPOSA – The Mariposa Butterfly Festival kicks off this Friday, May 5 with Taste of Mariposa and hat contest, and the continues through the weekend with a healthy-kids run, competitive trail run, parade, and live music at the Art Park on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 – 7, in historic downtown Mariposa.

Every year on the first weekend of May, vendors, musicians and celebrants from all over the world gather for a family event that seeks to educate and celebrate the butterfly, along with Mariposa County. About 5,000 butterflies will be released over the weekend during the festival.

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Taste of Mariposa takes place at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds on Friday, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. This is a fundraiser for the Butterfly Festival that showcases local restaurants, and includes a no-host bar. Guests may want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a margarita, or enjoy the hat contest. There’s a silent auction and a live auction, and tickets for entry are $5. Adults only.

Saturday morning marks the start of Paseo de Mariposa 5K family run and 12K trail run, sponsored by the Mariposa County Health Department. Participants may run through Stockton Creek Preserve in a competitive 12K trail run, or run through town in a 5K family run. Registration closes for this event on Wednesday, May 3 at noon.

Vendors will be open by 9 a.m. both days and the Butterfly Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, coming down Highway 140 in the center of town. Following the parade, butterflies will be released throughout the day.

When it comes to the butterflies, education begins approximately a month before the actual festival, when local school classrooms are provided with Butterfly Pavilions, say organizers. These safe enclosures are the environment in which caterpillars will be raised into butterflies before the eyes of the schoolchildren. Students are taught about the life cycle of the butterfly within the context of the importance of preserving our natural environment.

“When the festival day arrives, the celebration begins, with the highlight being the joyous act of releasing the butterflies. Mariposa opens its arms to all attending.  Musicians, art and food vendors, families and friends come together in a celebration of the Butterfly and and an event that honors our unique and fragile ecosystem.”

The Mariposa Museum is holding an open house on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., so stop by and say hello.

In the Art Park, watch for UPS Sue and her line dancers, Beth Healy, Ronnie Sweeting, Good Medicine and Danny Milsap on Saturday. Music, food and fun go on Sunday with a kids’ rock hunt from noon to 2 p.m.

For more information check out the event program on the website: http://www.mariposabutterflyfestival.net/event-program

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