Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kermit Still Trying to Milk the Frog!

(The Odessa American ran this article on April 20 in their print edition only. This may be its online debut.)KERMIT - Kermit the Frog may have made a brief hop through town, but he's had a lasting impact.

Walt Disney Co. kicked off the frog's 50th anniversary tour in Kermit in 2005. And, while the Winkler County city of 5,000 hasn't exactly had Muppet fever since then, it did keep the festival going.While it's now called Kermit Celebration Days and has no official affiliation with the frog, event organizer Linda Fruge said the idea for an annual celebration came from the 2005 event.

"It's a pretty good success," she said.The 2005 Kermit the Frog celebration was looking for between 15,000 and 30,000 visitors. Instead, it received around 8,000.

But the frog's appearance as honorary homecoming king at a Friday night high school football game with a 60-foot tall helium balloon overhead created excitement.

And, though Kermit the town was named for the eldest son of former President Theodore Roosevelt, and Kermit the Frog took his name from a childhood friend of Muppets creator Jim Henson, the city continues to play off the frog.A large likeness of the frog still overtakes much of Kermit's water tower and a street is named in his honor.

The event also includes food vendors and merchants, which is what continues to draw people to Kermit Celebration Days, Fruge said.

The 2007 event drew 52 vendors, Fruge said, and she hopes to top that this year.
A musical performance also helped bring 4,000 people to the event.

"We had a real good show," she said.This year's event, scheduled for September 27 and 28, will include car and motorcycle shows, as well as music from Los Nortenas de Ojinaga.

And while the origins of the festival may have come from the Muppet, Fruge said people don't come to the festival expecting green french fries or other frog-related items.

"No one's ever mentioned that again," she said.

Ode to Kermit the Frog


Benjie said...

Heigh Ho!

but we know frogs go, ladedadeda.

David Kirk said...

Benjie: I know nothing about frogs....

Anonymous said...

I want to move here some day.. Kermit the frog is my hero

David Kirk said...

Anonymous: You'd be welcome! We've got room for lots more folks!

Anonymous said...

You'd be bored

David Kirk said...

Me? Bored?

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