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Frog Festival was a hoot?

Rick Watson
Jilda and I went to the Frog Festival last weekend and it was a hoot, or should I say, a croak.
The weather was perfect! I had a booth at this year’s event where we sold and signed copies of my book. The long-range forecast for the weekend showed a chance of rain, and on Friday it did come a toad strangler, but the low steel-gray clouds moved off to the east by late afternoon and the skies on Saturday were picture perfect.  
We arrived at 6:30 a.m. to set up our tent, and I regretted my decision to leave my jacket at home. Once we got the tent, table and chairs situated, we sat down for a moment and drank some coffee I’d bought from one of the other vendors. Jilda hugged herself against the cold and her teeth chattered like a typewriter. (I guess I need to be more mindful of my similes because there are probably a lot of young folks out there that have never heard the rattle of a typewriter.)
Just before 7 a.m., the sun peeked above the roofs on Main Street in Sumiton and the sunshine felt warm on our faces. By the time the gates opened at 9 a.m. I knew it was going to be a great day for a small town festival.
Jilda and I have been involved with the Frog Festival since the beginning. The first three years we helped do the planning and we worked our tails off.  But this year, our schedules didn’t leave much time, so we left the planning to others. I think they did a remarkable job. The people who came by our booth shared the same sentiment.
I may be prejudiced, but I think The Frog Fest is one of the best small town festivals around. The event is free and has a little something for everyone. This year’s event had two stages that rang out all day with the music of local artists. Many of those walking on Main Street while munching on parched peanuts and swilling ice tea would probably agree that we have a lot of talent in these parts.
Each year, the booths are packed with hand-made arts & crafts, clothes, candles, jewelry and many other interesting things.
I always use the food as a means of judging anything. “Yes, the Grand Canyon was nice, but the food at that little restaurant was worth the trip!” You get the idea. Anyhow, the food at this year’s Frog Festival was definitely worth the trip.  
While sitting at our table eating ribs on a stick and drinking fresh lemonade, I basked in the moment, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells around me. There were booths at the festival that painted faces and did “crazy hair.” Even now, as I sit here writing, the memory paints a smile on my face.  
Jilda and I had the good fortune to visit Ireland several years ago and the thing we loved most about the
Emerald Isle was that it felt like the south we remember from our childhood.

People sat on the doorsteps in the afternoon greeting neighbors who happened by.
As we walked past a small community park, we heard the sound of guitar music and children laughing. It felt like home. I feel sure that if any of those people found themselves on Main Street in Sumiton during the Frog Festival this past week, they would have felt right at home.


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