Hop on down to Kla Ha Ya Days festival

SNOHOMISH — Volunteers have caught dozens of frogs in preparation for the city’s 101st Kla Ha Ya Days festival. It opens today and continues through Sunday.

Jim Garcia, an event organizer, said he doesn’t know how the amphibians came to be Snohomish’s mascot, but the frog-jumping contest is a big draw.

Organizers are expecting the city of about 9,000 people to swell to some 70,000 each day during the event.

“It’s one of the largest festivals in the Pacific Northwest,” Garcia said.

About a dozen large frogs are imported from California for the event. Local Boy Scouts go out and catch some 40 more, Garcia said. The frog jumping is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“It’s really cute because they make the frogs jump by squirting them in the butt with a little water gun,” Garcia said. “They get about four jumps in.”

There is a $5 entry fee for the frog competition but the other activities are free.

The carnival at Harvey Field opens today at 5 p.m. and runs through the weekend. There’s a free shuttle to take people to various event venues.

The Frogtastic Kids Fair is scheduled for Friday at Snohomish Station.

On Saturday, the grand parade is et to roll down First Street from Avenue D to Willow Avenue at 10:30 a.m.

“We’re bigger than the Seafair parade by 2 inches,” Garcia said.

Kla Ha Ya Days started as small event in 1913 and has continued to grow over the past century, Garcia said. It is now one of about 30 community events that are affiliated with Seafair, which celebrates the region’s culture.

This year, Kla Ha Ya Days organizers are asking people to wear their Seattle Seahawks gear.

“It’s really celebrating the Seahawks Super Bowl victory,” Garcia said. “It represents what we in Snohomish are. It’s family having common goals. And when you achieve them, that’s really something.”

There are a variety of activities, including a chainsaw carving exposition, skydiving demonstrations, eating contests, a sawdust treasure hunt, bed races, airplane rides, sports tournaments, a five-mile river run, live music and a balloon glow.

Garcia said his favorite part of the event is the salmon barbeque at Hill Park.

“It’s the best salmon,” he said. “It’s just a great weekend.”

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Kla Ha Ya Days starts today and runs through Sunday, with events at different venues:

Harvey Field, 9900 Airport Way

Snohomish Station, 2727 Bickford Ave.

Hill Park, 1610 Park Ave.

Other downtown locations

For a complete list of activities, go to klahayadays.com.

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