California Travel Tips

Coarsegold, CA Tarantulas, They’re Creepy and They’re Kooky

Published on: October 19, 2018


Celebrate the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Tarantulas of the Theraphosidae family. Each year Coarsegold, named for coarse nuggets discovered in a nearby creek during the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, enjoys a festival paying homage to the hairy critters the last weekend in October. If you happen to be driving along Highway 41 between Fresno and the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park, take a look at this captivating event in the Sierra foothills, elevation 2,218 feet.

According to one account the reason the quirky town of Coarsegold celebrates tarantulas each year is thanks to a resident who accidentally ran over one and says she was severely admonished. According to Diane Boland, founder of the Coarsegold Tarantula Festival, she felt inspired to learn about the misunderstood creature and celebrate it.

Wanting to make people aware of how interesting they are, she learned and now conveys the message that these creatures are not only unique to the area, they’re really good for the environment and also a whole lot of fun.

For over a decade her grassroots effort and festival have transformed the thinking of many who report that they’ve thrown away the bug spray in favor of gently moving tarantulas from places where they aren’t wanted.

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