Most Petalumans have either heard of or been to Petaluma’s annual Butter and Egg Days Parade. Many of us have even participated in it and some have grown up going to it every year. But how many of us know the full history behind Butter and Egg Days?
Drawing nearly 25,000 attendees each year, the parade celebrates the city’s long history of producing eggs and dairy. Since the early 1900’s, Petaluma’s economy has depended heavily on the production of the local agricultural community. Petaluma was home to the largest chicken hatchery in the world by 1906 and by 1923 housed the only chicken pharmacy in the nation.
In order to promote Petaluma and the consumption of eggs, Petaluma Chamber of Commerce Secretary, H.W (Bert) Kerrigan began National Egg Days in 1918. The first National Egg Day parade brought in four newsreel companies who then made films of the parades, which were shown across the nation. Petaluma celebrated National Egg Days through the 1920s with much enthusiasm and support from the local community.
While the tradition of National Egg Days ended in the late 1920s, the idea carried on and inspired Alice Forsyth and Linda Buffo to establish Petaluma’s Butter and Egg Days in 1981. The original egg theme was used, although the egg industry was no longer as prominent as it had been in the 1920s, while the dairy industry had grown. For that reason, the 1983 committee decided to ask local dairies to participate, thus creating Petaluma’s annual Butter and Egg Days.
The parade was brought back in order to celebrate the town’s culture, history, and heritage. This year is our 34th celebration of Petaluma and the farmers whose contributions have made our town possible.
The Petaluma Butter and Egg Days parade and festival is a community event that brings everyone together and displays the best that Petaluma has to offer. The parade and festival celebrate Petaluma’s rich culture and history, bringing together the past and the present, as we join together to look forward with hope.
CLICK ON PAGE 2 TO SEE DETAILS OF THIS YEAR’S PARADE AS WELL AS A COLLECTION OF PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF PRIOR YEARS PARADE