Punxsutawney who? Snohomish frog knows weather

SNOHOMISH — New Jersey gave us Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, the Jonas Brothers and, apparently, a frog that can predict the weather.

A hibernating bullfrog, shipped frozen to Snohomish from the Garden State, is now unthawing, in preparation for GroundFrog Day.

That’s the city’s annual to-do where a frog nicknamed Snohomish Slew croaks out a prediction on how long winter will last.

“We get the jump on Punxsutawney,” said Daryl Bertholet, a GroundFrog Day organizer.

So far, all five previous Slews have unhibernated and defrosted right on time. Last year’s frog predicted several weeks of “foggy and boggy.”

With the winter we’re having, Bertholet said, “he may predict locusts.”

Slew will impart a prediction around 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Ferguson Park. A family-friendly expo runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The amphibian of honor will arrive in the back of a sand-and-gravel truck festooned with stuffed frogs and other green decor. At the park, Slew’s handlers work with sages — frog whisperers — who can interpret its croaks.

Mayor Randy Hamlin and his wife, Beth, will preside over the event wearing crowns. Tim Noah from the Thumbnail Theater has penned a frog song.

Organizers will recount the legend of Slew: How he traveled across the country in search of a home, how animals pointed the way toward a place to settle down, to perhaps raise a thousand or two polliwogs in beautiful, soggy Snohomish.

The legend skips the bit about FedEx, a freezer and two spare frogs.

It’s not meteorological skills but looks that gets a frog the job, Bertholet said.

The fatter and greener, the better.

“We want a robust frog,” he said. “It’s cold outside.”

Why does Slew hail from New Jersey? Could he be mixed up in the frog mafia?

“Slew could be the God-frogger,” Bertholet mused.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or dsmith@heraldnet.com.


GroundFrog Day is set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ferguson Park’s National Guard Armory Building, 1330 Ferguson Park Road, Snohomish. Slew’s prediction is around 11:30 a.m.

More details are at 360-568-2526 and www.cityofsnohomish.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Freeland resident Kevin Lungren has been commuting to the office using his paddleboard. It's a commute he can do in all seasons and just about any type of weather, except wind.
Whidbey commuter paddleboards his way to work in all seasons

The financial advisor says he’s only fallen off his board twice in the past five years.

Photo by Heather Mayhugh
Stuart Peeples demonstrates how to enter Heather Mayhugh's wheelchair van. In recent months, while navigating the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Mayhugh has struggled to unload her clients who need access to the restroom.
People with mobility issues find new ferry terminal lacking

Some disabled folks say not enough thought went into improving the Mukilteo facility’s accessibility.

Temporary Lake Stevens Library to open this summer

The location will serve as the Sno-Isle branch until the proposed civic center campus is complete.

$500,000 available for Edmonds nonprofits

Organizations can apply for Edmonds Rescue Plan funds until Aug. 20.

Parts of Snohomish County under weekend heat advisory

Monroe and areas of the county near the Cascades were expected to see highs in the 90s.

Marysville man wins $100,000 in military vaccine lottery

Carmen S., who served in the Vietnam War, claimed his $100,000 cash prize this week.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
State AG says it can’t investigate Lynnwood Jail death

Tirhas Tesfatsion’s family pushed Lynnwood leaders for an independent inquiry. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Family and friends gather at the waters of the Skykomish River at Eagle Falls in memorial of Devin Shelby Thursday afternoon Index on July 29, 2021. Devin Shelby drowned at Eagle Falls and his body has not been recovered. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Skykomish took him. His parents want him to be the last

A year ago, Devin Shelby drowned at Eagle Falls. His body was never found. His family still grieves.

County lost 100 aerospace manufacturing jobs in June

At 6.1%, Snohomish County has the sixth-highest unemployment rate in Washington.

Most Read