Spring Begins with the Frog Frolic in Redding!
Reddingites are preparing to “hop” over to the Community Center Saturday, April 27, from 10AM – 4PM for the 24th Annual Frog Frolic, which has become the biggest and most exciting Springtime event for the town. The Frolic is a benefit fundraiser for the Mark Twain Library, Redding's cultural hub, founded by none other than Samuel Clemens himself.
With over 200 volunteers, the Frog Frolic offers something for everyone including a Bubble Garden for toddlers, Touch-a-Truck, bouncy houses, home-grown entertainment, games, crafts, food and a silent auction. The organizer, Stephanie Oulton says “The Frolic is a chance for people to come together and welcome Spring. It's one of those days that everyone counts on. You see friends and neighbors. Maybe you volunteer. You support an institution!”
Stephanie says the Frolic is only made possible by the hard work of many volunteers, both behind the scenes and the day of. Volunteer coordinator Ronna Brier has been busy assigning jobs to willing helpers who will set-up, work at and clean up on Saturday.
As in past years, the crafts will be endless fun for children and families. Meredith Schuchard and Becky Rappoccio head up the Arts and Crafts area. “This year there will be 10 different stations of arts and crafts!” says Ms. Schuchard. The Frog Frolic will debut a make your own bouncy ball craft, plus children will be able to enjoy old favorites like Sand Art and Bead crafts. Ms. Rappoccio notes, “Kids can also decorate a flower pot for Mom.”
All ages will enjoy Game Alley with over a dozen different games including Frolic Freeway, Treasure Hunt, Wheel of Fortune, Lily Pop Frog and The Rabbits Hole. “Hickory Dickory Dock will challenge players to race the mouse up the clock,” says Jeanine Herman and Carolyn Baker, Games coordinators. Tracy Kulikowski will oversee this year’s Kiss-A-Frog booth, where she promises “everyone is a winner.”
“Aunt Polly’s Bubble Garden is a great respite when a little one needs a break,” notes Amy Taylor, Bubble Garden coordinator. Not only can your young child experience being encased in a giant bubble or surrounded by tiny bubbles, but they can color and play with toys meant especially for toddlers. Bigger Frolic-ers will bounce the day away on giant inflatables. Nearby, a large selection of gently used children’s books will be on sale at below-bargain prices at the Book Sale Tent, hosted by Kathryn Zimmerman and Kristy Veith.
This year marks the 11th Annual Cake Walk, where bakers of all stripes compete to have their decorated cakes awarded first prize. This year’s theme is “Going Green” and cakes are accepted for both an adult and a junior division. So craft your perfect (or less than perfect) cake and join the fun! Kat Kaplan will coordinate cake drop-off beginning at 9:30 am Saturday morning at the Redding Community Center. All cakes are awarded as prizes during the infamous Cake Walk game!
The entertainment schedule is packed with amazing community performers! The day kicks off with the Redding-Easton Falcons Cheer Squad followed by the music of Scott Smith. The RES 3rd and 4th grade chorus will delight us with a specially selected group of songs and then RES Orff Out will take the stage. Afternoon entertainment begins with a martial arts demonstration led by Sensei June Fagan and her students of Kempo Karate and Self Defense. Enjoy the talent of Joel Barlow High School students a capella groups X Minute Break and Nothing But Treble. The day will end with a set by Leif Smith, the Frolic emcee and Mad Hatter.
The silent auction offers items for bidding beginning at 10:00 am and closing at 4:00 pm. “We have an extremely wide and extraordinary variety of offerings,” says Dick Hawks, Silent Auction Coordinator. This year, donations range from a kayak and a Yeti cooler to a bicycle and a band! You’ll find theater and museum tickets, fitness classes, home decor, backyard enhancements, high fashion accessories, and even a trip to Napa! Hawks suggests, “Bid often and bid high!”
Food is available all day at the Grille Tent. This year’s menu features Black Cat Grille hot dogs, bagels from Uncle Leo's and chili from the Redding Roadhouse. “We also have the popular “Hoppy Meal” for kids that includes a burger or hotdog, a snack, a drink and a prize,” reports food coordinators Angela Caes and Jen Lyons. Plus, Redding Neighbors and Newcomers will return to treat children young and old with beautifully decorated and yummy tasting cupcakes.
Along with the annual Book Fair, Art Show, and Pudd’nhead Prize Festival, the Frog Frolic is a critical revenue source for the library’s operating budget. Library Treasurer Betsy Higgins has spent several months reaching out to area businesses and families on behalf of the event. “Sponsorship is a meaningful way to show your neighbors you care about the cultural, intellectual, educational and social heart of Redding,” notes Higgins.
“This is an exceptional community event spurred on by Mark Twain’s celebrated frog,” says Beth Dominianni, Library Director (Note: The inspiration for the Frog Frolic came from Twain’s short story, “The Celebrated Frog of Calaveras County”).
For more information on the 24th annual Frog Frolic, visit www.marktwainlibrary.org, visit the Mark Twain Library Facebook page, or call 203-938-2545. The Mark Twain Library is owned by the Mark Twain Library Association. It was founded in 1908 by Samuel Clemens – Mark Twain himself – one of Redding’s most celebrated residents.