Snohomish Slew predicts wet weather

SNOHOMISH — Frogs are special in Snohomish.

In summer, people enjoy watching frog-jumping contests at Kla Ha Ya Days. In winter, folks flock to Groundfrog Day.

The third annual event drew about 100 people on Saturday at Ferguson Park. Music played loud. Children and adults hopped and chicken-danced to songs. They waited for Snohomish Slew, a male bullfrog, to arrive for his annual “frognostication.”

Some people wore green caps that looked like frogs.

Kids and grown-ups snacked on little green Gummi frogs.

Tristan Lawson, 6, and Ryanna Richardson, 5, arrived in a limousine as the event’s prince and princess. City Councilman Doug Thorndike and his wife, Jane, served as the event’s king and queen.

Then, a shiny gravel truck adorned with froggy decorations arrived at the park. Daryl Bertholet, event chairman, took a basket out of the truck and walked it ceremoniously to the park gazebo. The crowd roared as he set it down.

The guest of honor had arrived.

Bertholet lifted Snohomish Slew out of his basket, and held him high so everyone could see.

Cheers rose from the crowd.

As Bertholet held the inaudible amphibian, Wally Walsh listened carefully, to interpret whatever the frog had to say.

After a minute, Walsh had possession of Snohomish Slew’s biggest secret.

He shared it with the crowd, in verse.

“I predict that we will have eight weeks of a foggy, smoggy, frosty time. So, snuggle up to your Valentine!”

The news was met with cheers, applause and laughter.

Children rose to gather around the frog, a prince for the day.

Groundfrog Day

Snohomish celebrated its annual Groundfrog Day on Saturday. Snohomish Slew, a male bullfrog, predicted that there will be eight weeks more weeks of soggy, wet weather. In other words, perfect for frogs.

The event started in 2006 as the town’s version of Groundhog Day in Punxsatawney, Pa., to promote Snohomish and local businesses.

Main sponsors of the event this year were N.W. Sand and Gravel, Initial Construction, Country Kids Playhouse, Catch the Beat and the Lions Club of Snohomish.

The event was organized by the Snohomish Chamber of Commerce with assistance from the city of Snohomish.

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