Fuzzy Wonders: Coarsegold Tarantula Festival

Learn about the awesome arachnids at this Gold Country hoedown.

MORE "AWESOME" THAN "EEK": Tarantula buffs know that the large arachnids dear to their hearts can get a pretty unfortunate rap sometimes. After all, something that's quite sizable, and hair-covered, and boasting many legs, has a way of giving someone a jump, even if that many-legged beastie is just trying to scurry on his way with no drama, no confrontation, and no quibble. And while we see tarantulas on a host of decorations around the end of October — they commonly hang from various ceilings, in paper form, though finding rubber tarantulas sitting on the table holding a party's punch bowl is not uncommon — we don't spy them very much, if at all, out in nature. They're in their burrows for a good deal of time, and when they crawl on out, seeking the perfect partner, they're not eager to scrap with any people, regardless of what spider-themed films may tell us. This makes them a popular critter with many humans, humans who shall scurry for the...

COARSEGOLD TARANTULA FESTIVAL... in Gold Country. It's crawling toward the historic town on the final Saturday of October 2017 — that's Oct. 28 — and the activities are all free to join. Look for a Tarantula Poem Contest, a Hairy Leg Contest (for the people in the crowd, not the arachnids), and other pre-Halloween high jinks, from pumpkin decorating to a Best Pumpkin Dessert Contest. The 20th annual get-together is dubbed the Tarantula Awareness Festival, and learning more about this wee beings is a positive for people and the critter contingent alike. Plus? Gold Country, all year long but especially in the fall, is a delight, through and through. Need more info on this sweet and not-scary celebration? Scurry in this direction.

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