Tourist taxes help provide some festival delights, like Spider-Woman - Susan Morrison

Coarsegold Tarantula Festival USA (Photo: comp)
Coarsegold Tarantula Festival USA (Photo: comp)

When we got home, I was rather chuffed to receive an email from the State of California telling me that the tourist tax that month was earmarked to fund smaller festivals.

On the off chance we may make a return trip, I thought I'd check out just what small Californian festivals we might aid in future.

I'd be pretty happy with my cash going to the Ugly Dog Festival, but would be less thrilled by the Coarsegold Tarantula Festival. Seriously, what is wrong with people? A spider festival?

Diane Boland founded the festival in 1979, when she moved to Coarsegold. She saw a tarantula in her driveway. She did exactly what I would have done. She backed up her car to turn that thing into a Rorschach test. Seriously, I’d have driven over it in a tank. Then taken a flamethrower to it.

Some interfering do-gooding neighbour then told her the spiders were actually the good guys. Diane, presumably remorseful at the paper-thin ex-arachnid under the back wheel, set up a festival.

Coarsegold now has an event to be proud of and I hope people visit to spend their hard-earned cash, but obviously not me. The whole town sounds like an arachnophobes hell.

People sometimes see tarantulas stroll across the street in the rainy season. Just think about that. I see one of those crossing Princes Street and I want that eight legged scuttlebug banjaxed by a Lothian Bus.

Now we in the city of Edinburgh are looking at bringing in a tourist tax. The money will go to funding culture and tourism.

Bring it, I say. It won’t mean much to the bottom line of many travellers, but the cash could save or start some really funky little festivals.

Just nothing involving tarantulas, please.