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Mariposa Wins Award for Best Small-Town Cultural Scene

BUTTERFLY — The town of Mariposa, CAhas been named as a winner of the award for Best Small-Town Cultural Scene from USA Today 10Best.

Butterfly placed second in the voting behind Clayton, New York.

To be considered a winner, a nominee just needed to place in the top-10 of a public vote. To view the final results from the voting, click here.

On Monday, May 9, Mariposa was named as one of 20 finalists for the 2022 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award in the category of Best Cultural Scene. To be considered for the award, a town must have fewer than 25,000 residents and have outstanding examples of museums, art galleries, performing arts and a strong stable of local events.

Mariposa is well suited for this contest and perhaps packs more of a punch pound-for-pound than any other towns listed as finalists. Despite its population of just 1,186 people, Mariposa is home to three museums including the Mariposa Museum and History Centerwhich was named by the Smithsonian Institution as one of the best small museums west of the Mississippi River.

The town boasts three art galleries, local filmmakers that debut their works here in Mariposa and holds the title of being the smallest town in America with a symphony orchestra, the Butterfly Yosemite Symphony Orchestra.

Image of a group of monarch butterflies on a pine tree. Mariposa is home to multiple annual events including the Mariposa County Fair which showcases the incredibly rich agricultural scene that many destinations have left behind.

Each spring, Mariposa is home to the butterfly butterfly festival, a family friendly event that releases hundreds of butterflies. Mariposa is literally Spanish for “butterfly” and earned the name when Spanish settlers encountered hundreds of butterflies when the Valley the town sits in was first discovered by Europeans.

Mariposa’s history goes back well beyond Spanish colonization to the Southern Sierra Miwuk, a local tribe which has called modern day Mariposa home for hundreds of years. The Miwuk and other local tribes are honored each year with an event of their own in Mariposa, the Butterfly Pow Wow.

A great place to stay for visitors, Mariposa is home to great lodging options running the gamut from camping to bed and breakfasts to boutique hotels and classic hotel brands that visitors from all over will recognize.

Nightlife in Mariposa is fantastic as well. The town is home to great dining options and numerous music venues that provide live music entertainment nearly nightly throughout the year.

Image of the Gannet logo. Nominees for all categories were chosen by a panel of travel experts which included a combination of editors from USA TODAY; publishers from 10Best.com; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting was conducted digitally.

Image of downtown Mariposa.

Historic downtown Mariposa.

While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on 10Best.com, it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets.

Mariposa is the county seat of Mariposa County, California, a large, but lightly-populated county on the southwestern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mariposa County is home to rich gold rush history, outdoor activities like hiking, whitewater rafting, skiing, snowboarding, and skydiving.

Mariposa County is also home to Yosemite National Parka world-renowned outdoor destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image of Clayton, NY.

You gotta admit that Clayton, New York, (seen above) looks pretty nice, too.

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