Pacific Grove: Butterfly Parade & Bazaar

It's the annual "welcome back!" bash for the Monarch butterflies.

IF YOU'VE EVER LEFT SOMEWHERE, say a job or a town, all with the knowledge that you'd return one day, did you receive a party when you sauntered back onto the scene? Did some old friends take you to lunch, or maybe on a tour of the town, just so you could see what had changed since you were last there? Not everyone who leaves a place, and then comes back, gets a warm welcome, or even anything approximating a party, but if you're on the wee side, and you have a pair of colorful wings, and your annual migration takes you back to the Pacific Grove area, you can bet there'll be a celebration in your honor. Well, not solely your honor, but in the honor of the whole kaleidoscope of Monarch butterflies that regularly head back to the pretty peninsula town, and its pretty environs, around October each year. The hearty "welcome back!," which is presented by humans in honor of the superstar insects, is called the...

BUTTERFLY PARADE & BAZAAR, and butterflies do fill the parade, as the name suggests, though they're super-sweet kindergartner butterflies of the people variety. But cheering on these human butterflies is only one aspect of the sunshiny-in-spirit day, which will flutter in 2017 on Saturday, Oct. 7. There are otters and farmers and pioneers and clowns to cheer on, too — those are some of the older kids — and the other cheerful hallmarks of a venerable parade that has its roots in 1939. There's also the Butterfly Bazaar to walk through, too, or fly, should you be an actual butterfly who prefers zipping through the air to strolling on the ground. Are you headed to P.G. to check out some of the first Monarch arrivals of the season? Time it to the Oct. 7 and applaud a classic California parade that has strong and nostalgic ties to both nature and local history.

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