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Butterflies take flight at annual event
Hailey Renaud looks at the butterfly on her hand just before it took off with the rest of the butterflies released at Wilshire Trails park during last year's Butterfly Release. This year's event is set for Sunday. - photo by Tom Reed

Take flight with a few winged friends Sunday, May 20, for the 16th annual Butterfly Release at Wilshire Trails Park in Gainesville.

The release is a collaboration between Gainesville Friends of the Parks and Greenways, the city of Gainesville and Gainesville Park and Recreation.

From 1 to 4 p.m., families can enjoy making paper sailboats, which will be set sail in the creek, decorating butterfly sugar cookies and the Gainesville High School cheerleaders will be face-painting butterflies and flowers on little cheeks.

Gainesville Ballet members also will be circulating in butterfly costume, and fire trucks and EMS vehicles will be on hand for tours.

Of course the big event, 1,500 painted lady butterflies, will be released at 3 p.m.

“We were notified ... the first batch has hatched at the farm. They will be delivered to us Saturday to awake and take flight on Sunday,” said Northeast Georgia History Center member Connie Propes.

Parking is free at Centennial School and Gainesville High School. There is a shuttle bus that will run during the afternoon between the lots and Wilshire Trails.

“Our annual T-shirts will be on sale bearing the logo selected from 60 plus entries from this year’s school, Enota. Our winner will be announced Friday morning at the Honors Day event at Enota, as well as being recognized at the Butterfly Release on Sunday. All of the art entries for the logo will be on display at the park.”

Various exhibitors, like the Hall County Master Gardeners and the Northeast Georgia History center, will have displays for viewing.

Food will be available for purchase from Deep South Dogs, Brusters will have ice cream and Oakwood Occassions will have fruit kabobs and popcorn.

“Last year we had an estimated crowd of over 2,500. We expect an increase this year. Our generous sponsors enable this incredible community event to be free to the public.”

Propes said the event serves “our mission as a cultural, educational and recreational resource to develop, maintain, restore and preserve passive and active leisure pursuits in Gainesville-Hall County.”

For more information, call 770-531-2680.

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