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Rain won't harm Frogfest
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (April 30, 2009) — Rain is in the forecast for this weekend’s Frog Fest, but according to Waynesville City Clerk Barbara Stinson, that’s not unusual.

“I think in all the years we’ve only had one or two years it didn’t rain,” Stinson said. “It’d be really nice if we had nice weather all weekend, but if it rains some of the time, it’s still good weather for frogs.”

The two-day event has been held for a dozen years in Waynesville, and this year will begin at 10 a.m. each day and run until late afternoon. Events will be held in the Waynesville City Park.

Weather hazards can be a problem with a late-spring event, Stinson noted, and she said rain fears were part of why organizers of Waynesville’s Old Settlers’ Day festival weren’t willing to change their mid-summer date.

The discovery of an unusually shaped rock formation on the Waynesville Hill overlooking Historic Route 66 provided an opportunity for an earlier spring event. When the road was widened from two to three lanes, part of the hillside was removed by Missouri Department of Transportation road workers and that exposed what’s now known as the Waynesville Frog.

“When the state highway did the blasting on the road, there was a rock sticking out and everybody said it looks like a frog,” Stinson said. “The only event we had at that time was Old Settlers’ Day and it was notoriously hot. We decided to start a new festival and decided that frog would be something nobody else would have. We sort of worked the celebration around that and we even named it after the frog, and we’re always the first festival every year.”

Events this year will be much like those held since the Frog Fest began years ago, Stinson said, including a 1 p.m. Saturday contest to decide which of three local leaders — Circuit Court Clerk Rachelle Beasley, Sheriff J.B. King, or St. Robert City Administrator Alan Clark — should kiss the frog. The winner is selected based on who gets the most “votes” — which means cash — is deposited in collection jars for the three kissing candidates around the area.

Previous winners were City Collector Carol Welch in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007; local attorney David Lowe won in 2006. The contest wasn’t held in 2008 due to flooding in the park.

A related event will be the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored Frog Race on Saturday afternoon in the Roubidoux Creek in the Waynesville city park. Plastic frogs representing various contributors will “race” down the creek and the three fastest finishers will receive $100, $75, or $50 savings bonds donated by First State Bank. The fundraising event features a single frog for $5 or a “team” of three frogs for $10.

Other events include an opportunity to throw pies at local police to raise money for the “Shop with a Cop” program that matches police with needy community children to buy Christmas gifts and an opportunity to select a KY-3 television personality to kiss the frog.

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