Pies and Butterflies

This weekend in Wimberley, tourists and locals alike celebrate two annual events. The Butterfly Festival at Emily Ann Theatre and Garden and the Pie Social, hosted by The Wimberley Institute of Cultures at the Wimberley Valley Museum. Both events are free but don’t forget your wallet because these one-of-a-kind non-profits depend on charitable donations to thrive and continue serving the community. Dress casually, wear a hat and put your walking shoes on. It’s gonna be a big day in Wimberley.

The Butterfly Festival is a beautiful celebration of the transformational cycle of life. But it’s so much more than that. The festival had its genesis in an innocent exchange between a child and a grieving mother. You see Ann Rolling, the founder of Emily Ann Theatre and Garden, lost her teenaged daughter in a tragic car accident. Her tears watered the seeds of thought for an outdoor Shakespearean Theatre built in Emily Ann’s memory. Now other parents who’ve lost a child build memorials there and veterans who gave their lives in service are celebrated with an installation of flags and engraved stones on Wimberley’s Memorial Hill, which crowns the grounds and offers 360 degree views.

One day while walking the grounds not too long after the Emily’s passing, a little boy ran up and gave Ann a chrysalis, the very symbol of life changing from one form to another. Ann, being the deep and spiritual person she is, took comfort in that gift and turned it into yet another celebration of life. That’s how the Butterfly Festival was born. It has since inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of local children to express their talent in an annual art competition and gained national notoriety, bringing joy to visitors from all over the country.

The Annual Pie Social is a throw back to a simpler time, a celebration of culture in a country setting. This is a family friendly gathering with hot dogs and lots of scrumptious homemade desserts. There’ll be a pie eating contest, a raffle for two locally crafted quilts (and these quilting ladies are seriously skilled) plus access to historical artifacts and writings that haven’t been available since the pandemic shut the museum down. The adjacent Chamber of Commerce partners in distributing WIC’s pamphlets and historical walking tour. So you’ll want to make sure to scoot on over there too.

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