Solomon Perera, 11, of Snohomish, puckers up and gives Snohomish Slew, a bullfrog, a kiss at Snohomish’s 13th Annual Groundfrog Day on Saturday. Snohomish Slew predicted an early spring will come this year to the region. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Solomon Perera, 11, of Snohomish, puckers up and gives Snohomish Slew, a bullfrog, a kiss at Snohomish’s 13th Annual Groundfrog Day on Saturday. Snohomish Slew predicted an early spring will come this year to the region. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Snohomish brings out its bullfrog, hoping for sign of spring

Snohomish Slew was paraded downtown and handed out kisses on a blustery winter day.

SNOHOMISH — For a bullfrog, he is revered by his town.

He was paraded down the street on Saturday, escorted by Snohomish High School athletes in letterman jackets and dark sunglasses. People lined up to give the frog a kiss.

Every year, he is the bearer of important news.

People wait outside in the cold and wind in anticipation. They listen for a croak or a ribbit, meaning spring is on the way.

Frogs have a natural instinct when it comes to predicting the season. They wake from a winter slumber and tend to get chatty. Their knowledge of Pacific Northwest weather is more reputable than a well-known Pennsylvanian groundhog, said Pam Schilaty, manager of the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce. She helped coordinate what the town calls GroundFrog Day.

“They don’t need no stinkin’ shadow,” she said.

On Saturday, a bullfrog named Snohomish Slew promised the return of warm, showery days.

Sofia Hamner-De Paula was relieved. The 7-year-old was dressed in a puffy, green jacket and clutched a cup of hot chocolate. She is accustomed to the weather in Argentina. Sofia and her family were in Snohomish for a visit.

Her mother, Valeria De Paula, heard about the 13th annual GroundFrog Day. They couldn’t miss it.

Despite the blustery wind, they joined a couple dozen people around a gazebo downtown. They danced along to music in the street. A long line formed in front of a booth that specialized in balloon animals. Sofia asked for a pink bunny. Her cousin, Katherine, got a banana tree.

The cousins crowded around Snohomish Slew to get a closer look. They laughed as the frog kissed a little girl on the cheek.

“Sometimes the simple things that might sound a little silly are what give a community its identity,” De Paula said.

Caitlin Tompkins:425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Pride flag vandalism raises concerns on Whidbey Island

Reports of theft involving LGBTQ+ pride-themed displays have increased around South Whidbey.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

An emergency overdose kit with naloxone located next to an emergency defibrillator at Mountain View student housing at Everett Community College on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
As deadly overdoses decline, Snohomish County builds on what’s working

Opioid-related deaths have decreased 20% compared to this time last year. Local health officials say there’s “still much work to do.”

Police blocked off southbound I-5 near Marine View Drive in Everett after an “incident” blocked the roadway on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
None injured in shooting that closed I-5 south in Everett

The shooting shut down traffic on the freeway Wednesday near Marine View Drive, causing a major backup.

Edmonds City Council members answer questions during an Edmonds City Council Town Hall on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds begins process to join South County Fire

To avoid a lapse in services, the city will likely come to voters in April asking for their final approval.

A man led police on a high speed chase through north Snohomish County on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
New public database answers Snohomish County’s pressing crime questions

Prosecutor Jason Cummings hopes the database can give a better understanding of the local criminal justice system.

PUD employee Kyle Tucker opens part of the breaker system at the Jennings Park Substation in Marysville, Washington on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
With eye on growing county, PUD replaces aging Marysville substation

The $8.4 million project north of Jennings Park is expected to be finished in October. It’s one part of a 10-year PUD plan.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.