EDUCATION, preservation and celebration
Every year on the first weekend of May, vendors, musicians and celebrants from all over the world gather in the small rural community of Mariposa, California, for a family event that seeks to educate and celebrate the Butterfly along with our beautiful Mariposa County in the Gold Country foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Education begins approximately a month before the actual festival, when local school classrooms and home schools are provided with "Butterfly Pavilions". 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.
In addition to butterflies raised by schoolchildren, an important activity is our partnership with Children's Hospital. Committee members deliver butterflies in pavilions to the hospital where they are raised, then we return and participate in their happy release.
When the festival day arrives, the celebrataion 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.