Coarsegold’s Historic Village was packed with all things tarantula last weekend as hundreds of people, many of them children dressed up in their Halloween best, took part in contests such as who had the hairiest legs, or who could scream the loudest during the 19th Annual Tarantula Festival.
The festival, held each year to celebrate the start of tarantula mating season in the foothills and mountains, was a delight for all guests as they checked out live tarantulas, many brought by Mountain Area residents who caught them at home, or watched children enjoy the day with a costume parade and other activities.
“They feel good,” laughed Noeh Wilbour, 10, as a tarantula crawled on his head. “I’m not afraid of them, I mean, they’re nice and they won’t hurt you, so they’re really cool to watch.”
Diane Boland, the event’s organizer, said the tarantula festival was about fun and friendships.
“This is all about this great community that comes out, where every kid gets something,” Boland said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
Boland added the festival likely boosted sales not only for vendors who brought festival foods for sale, but for the village’s shops as kids went trick or treating through the stores.
“Oh it probably helps at least a little bit,” Boland said. “It’s just a great event to have and so much fun to put on.”