Papio Pete flies in to celebrate 150th Anniversary

Papio Pete, a monarch butterfly, is Papillion's new official mascot.

The City of Papillion recently introduced Papio Pete as its new mascot in celebration of the city’s 150th anniversary. The Papillion Times gave the city a Q&A for Papio Pete fill out. Here are the butterfly’s responses:

1. What’s your favorite thing about Papillion?

It just feels like home. It’s a tight knit community, the people are so friendly and there is so much to do. Not to mention there are pictures of butterflies everywhere — even on the water towers!

2. What do you do for fun?

I like variety. I like to hang out with my friends at Halleck Park, read books at Sump Library and catch baseball games at Werner Park. I’ve also been spending a lot of time at Papillion Landing with my friend Pappy the Squirrel. He thinks he can beat me at one-on-one. (He can’t.)

3. What’s your greatest fear and why?

Extinction of butterflies. Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and unique insects, but we are also delicate and vulnerable. Our migration gets tougher every year. During Papillion 150, we hope to create some butterfly-friendly spaces and tell residents about what they can do to help butterflies thrive.

4. What’s your favorite memory of Papillion?

That’s a tough one. There are so many even just in recent memory, including hearing Willie Nelson perform at SumTur Amphitheater, seeing the Omaha Storm Chasers win two championships and being a butterfly on the wall during a presidential visit.

5. What’s your favorite color?

Orange, I wear it every day!

6. If you could meet any celebrity, who would you choose and why?

Willa Cather. With our focus on celebrating Papillion’s history this year, it would be really interesting to hear from her about what Nebraska was like during the pioneer days.

7. What are three fun facts about you?

Like all butterflies:

  • I can’t fly if it’s under 55 degrees.
  • I’m nearsighted, so I can’t see much beyond 10 feet (but I can see ultraviolet colors that people can’t).
  • My brightly colored wings actually scare off predators, telling them I’m poisonous if eaten and that I taste awful too.

8. If you flew somewhere outside Papillion, where would you go and why?

Mexico! I fly there every fall with my family and friends during our annual migration. Did you know that Monarch butterflies migrate further than any other butterfly? Up to 3,000 miles in each direction!

9. What’s your favorite food?

Milkweed! If you have milkweed in your garden, please leave it, and my friends and I will pay you a visit.

10. What Papillion 150 event are you most excited for?

Definitely the Papillion Days parade, where we are going to try to break a world record for the most people in one place dressed as butterflies. More on that to come, but start getting your butterfly costumes together everybody!

For more information about Papillion’s 150th anniversary and a list of upcoming events, visit papillion150.com.

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