A Sierra Sun Times Special Edition

 2009 Tarantula Awareness Festival - Coarsegold, California
October 24, 2009


Part Two - Costume Contest

Part Three - Scream Contest

Part Four - Spider Races

Part Five - Hairy Leg Contest

Part Six - Food Competitions

Part One
Tarantula Awareness Festival

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1st place winner in the Costume Contest  is young Max, King of the 'Wild Things'

A large friendly female Tarantula visiting with some people at the festival

Have you ever heard of 'Arachnophobia'? Not the movie, but the phobia of being terrified by spiders. Well, if you have this fear you might not think you'd like to go to a Tarantula Festival, but you just might be surprised. This festival will help to show you that these eight legged arachnids are truly misunderstood. And although you might not call them cuddly, they are really very soft. Each year at the festival I actually look forward to holding one of these fuzzy arachnids and I've come to see them as quit beautiful.     

The Tarantula Awareness Festival was held on Saturday, October 24th in Coarsegold, California. The festival is located just outside Yosemite National Park and is a fun filled family event. The festival is held the weekend before Halloween to bring awareness to the fact that Tarantula spiders can make great pets. The arachnids can have a life span of over thirty years. Well the females of the species can live that long, the males tend to have a much shorter life span. At this time of year in the mountains you might get to see the Tarantulas actually crossing the roadways in search of a mate. We ask that you please try not to run them over on purpose as they are very beneficial in helping to keep the bug, and even mice, population down. 

This year was the 12th Annual Festival and featured many different contests. There was a 'Pumpkin Cheesecake Bake-Off' along with a 'Pizza Eating' contest, a 'Scream Off' contest, both men's and ladies 'Hairy Leg' contest and a 'Best Decorated Pumpkin' contest.  There was also a 'Tarantula Poem' contest, a 'Children's Costume' contest and finally the highlight of the day,  the 'Tarantula Races'. The Tarantulas raced through an opaque tube while the handlers blew on the end of the tube. The first Tarantula to make it through the tube wins the race. There are many prizes given out for all of the contests throughout the day.

A very fun attraction at the festival this year was Capitan Wayne Boring and his pet spider 'Nugget'. Young and old alike enjoyed visiting with the Capitan and his day was full of children scrambling aboard the ship. The Capitan told stories of his many adventures, much to their delight.

Hope you have a 'Spook-tacular' Halloween.

Remember to mark your calendars for next years 13th Annual 'Tarantula Awareness Festival'.

Article by Yvonne Sarazin


The web site for the Tarantula Awareness Festival is: http://www.coarsegoldhistoricvillage.com/Tartantula.html

For Photo Slideshows from the 2008 and 2007 Festivals

Coarsegold, California Tarantula Festival October 25, 2008


Coarsegold, California Tarantula Festival October 27, 2007





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