cute chick contest at Petaluma

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Petaluma Butter and Eggs Parade and Festival



April 24, 2010 (and Apr. 25 downtown)

The 29th Annual Petaluma Butter & Egg Day
Parade & Celebration
Saturday April 24, 2010
Historic Downtown
Petaluma, CA
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Petaluma Butter & Egg Days Parade & Celebration attracts more than 30,000 people to downtown Petaluma. With a fire fighters' cow pie throwing contest, cutest little chick in town contest and big parade with the butter and eggs theme, this is one of the unique events that Petaluma is known for. Location: Historic Downtown Petaluma, CA. Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call: (707) 762-9348. /


People crack up when visiting Petaluma's Butter and Eggs Parade. There's no need to walk on eggshells around this town where there once was a huge painted chicken by the side of the road alerting you that you had arrived in Petaluma.  If wrist-wrestling world championships and the Santa Rosa County Fair's "World's Uggliest Dog Contest" aren't enough to make you smile, you really should visit Petaluma during the annual Butter and Eggs Parade and Festival held each spring in April. Throughout the years the festival has enjoyed unique events and promotions such as cooking of the world's largest omelet, egg toss and all things eggs.

Petaluma’s Butter & Eggs Parade and Celebration is about 25 years old. It pays homage to  the agricultural history as the birthplace of the incubator, which was the beginning of Petaluma’s “Egg Basket To The World” title, and as one of the premier dairy regions in the country. It does this by throwing a huge egg bash--The Butter & Egg Days Parade and Celebration, which draws over 25,000 attendees. The community parade showcases  Petaluma with a 100-unit parade, floats, drill teams, novelty units, equestrian units, marching bands, and much more.

Activities before, during and after the parade include a block-long outdoor food court offering festival foods and beverages, arts and crafts exhibitors and activities to entertain youngsters with inflatable bounce houses, rides, and hands-on activities. This is one of the North Bay’s largest events.


Petaluma became known for its poultry industry, and a unique Jewish population that was philosophically attracted to farming lifestyle options afforded out in the once rural area an hour's drive from San Francisco.


We had to search to find out how Petaluma got this event and seeming fascination with eggs and butter. The answer stems from the Gold Rush and the need for food. At one time up to 600 million eggs were shipped out of Petaluma to nearby San Francisco, and around the world annually. With temperatures that seldom dip below freezing, poultry farming offered a cost-effective business that could operate year-round. The Egg Basket of the World, as Petaluma was once called, is remembered and honored not only in the annual parade and festival, but in the Petaluma Museum where a Poultry Exhibit traces the region's unique and honored role. 


When I visited the region before it experienced its transformation into a modern day destination, the egg industry was waning, and people discovered extremely affordable housing. The smell of chickens at egg farms was pervasive, and required getting used to, but those attracted to the small town charms and rural setting saw something else--a city  ready to transform. Today, Petaluma enjoys both an Historic Downtown, close proximity to San Francisco and Sonoma wine country, making it a highly desirable place to live and work. 


Where to stay: When visiting Petaluma, there are limited options in hotels. We prefer the Sheraton Sonoma County Petaluma though many like the Best Western. Since there are only a few hotels available, you may want to check out Rohnert Park hotels 12 miles away or some fine hotels 17 miles distance in Santa Rosa. One of our favorites in Santa Rosa is the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country. Nectar Restaurant features award-winning cuisine and an excellent wine list featuring boutique wines from the local Sonoma County and Napa wineries.


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