Melon seeds, frogs and rain shower Kla Ha Ya Days

SNOHOMISH – Rain was the theme of Snohomish’s Kla Ha Ya Days Festival Saturday.

“That’s Washington,” said Jim Floyd of Marysville after spitting a watermelon seed 20 feet, 11 inches in a steady shower.

Floyd and many others braved the festival Saturday despite the rain, which started shortly after the parade ended around 1 p.m.

A couple of downpours occurred about 45 minutes apart, causing festival goers to run for cover under tents and awnings and into stores and restaurants.

When the rain let up after the first deluge, they came back out.

The turnout for the festival was still good, with dry weather in the morning, said festival volunteer Patsy Danhof. But one booth vendor said the rain was putting a damper on business.

“It’s just nature, you can’t help it,” said Stephanie Perks of the Avon products booth.

The soap box races were only slightly delayed because of the first downpour. Thurston Weaver, 8, won several of the races in a sleek red cart racing for the Snohomish Youth Center.

He borrowed the cart from his aunt because “my cousin grew out of it,” he said.

After the rain started again, six small children, their parents and onlookers huddled under a small tent for the pie-eating contest. The youngsters ate peach pie trough-style from paper bowls.

Jessica Dubuque, 8, of Snohomish, won the first round.

“I just shoved the pie into my mouth,” she said in explaining her technique.

Frog-jumping contests continued unabated through the showers, the bullfrogs clearly undeterred and volunteers and kids only slightly less so.

Bullfrogs were donated by a nearby property owner with a pond, by individuals and also by a few contestants who brought their own, said volunteer Carol McIntier. The frogs were put into a barrel and the kids picked them out.

Near the end of the race, the leading frog was that of Anna Pizac, 8, of Snohomish, which jumped 10 feet, 3 inches in three leaps. Contestants with the first, second and third-finishing frogs each received a new bicycle.

At the watermelon seed spitting contest, Floyd was in the lead until bested at the end by Brian Schimpf of Lake Stevens, who launched a seed 26 feet 11 inches.

His secret?

“Pointy end first – and spit like the dickens,” he said.

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or sheets@heraldnet.com.

Festival events

Kla Ha Ya Days ends today with a hot rod, custom and classic car show beginning at 10 a.m. Also included is a street fair with crafts, food booths and live music on First Street, a salmon bake and yard sale 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Hill Park, and carnival at Harvey Airfield. Admission is free.

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