Butter and Egg Days

Butter and Egg Days

First weekend after last Wednesday in April
This is a promotional event in Petaluma, Calif., that recalls the historic days when Petaluma was the "World's Egg Basket," producing millions of eggs that were shipped all over the world. The first Butter and Egg Days was a modest affair in 1983; it now draws about 25,000 for a parade with floats, bands, bagpipers, and children dressed as such things as butter pats and fried eggs. There are also street fairs, an antiques show, an egg toss, a butter-churning contest, and the presentation of the Good Egg award to a Petaluma booster.
The seed of this event was laid in 1918 when the first Egg Day parade was held. With the food shortages of World War I, people were being urged to eat less meat, and Petalumans decided to promote the idea of eating more eggs. Petaluma had the eggs; there were more hatcheries here than anywhere else. In 1878, the incubator developer L. C. Byce had established the Petaluma Incubator Co., which allowed great numbers of baby chicks to be artificially hatched. The town became a thriving poultry center, and boasted the world's only chicken pharmacy. The Egg Days, which ran from 1918 to 1926, brought the town national attention. These were huge celebrations, with nighttime illuminations, balls, chicken rodeos, and parades with gigantic Humpty Dumptys and white leghorn chickens. The chicken-and-egg industry waned in the 1950s, and the dairy industry moved in, which is now honored along with eggs.
CONTACTS:
Petaluma Visitors Program
210 Lakeville St.
Petaluma, CA 94952
877-273-8258 or 707-769-0429
www.visitpetaluma.com