LELAND — It’s officially frog season (literally), and not just for the obvious reason, but for a more “festive” one.
This year, the Leland Chamber of Commerce (LCOC) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Leland Frog Fest, which is set to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 2 along the Rainbow Connection Bridge on Broad Street.
And, as customary, the cost of admission into the festival is two canned food donations to the Leland Food Pantry.
With the exception of 2020, Leland has hosted the Frog Fest every year to commemorate the extraordinary life and accomplishments of Jim Henson, who spent his boyhood in Leland — where his inspiration to create The Muppets originated.
LCOC executive director Mary Anne Brocato said she is expecting this year’s festival to be one of the biggest ones yet, even though some of the popular features of previous festivals won’t be incorporated due to COVID-19.
“This will be the 10th anniversary and we didn’t do it (Frog Fest) last year, so we tried to really add some things to it this year,” Brocato said.
If anyone is looking to get active and enjoy the Frog Festivities at the same time, the 5K Run and Kid’s Fun Run are the perfect opportunity and are both free to enter.
The 5K (3 mi.), which is supported by the Mississippi River Project in partnership with Delta Health Alliance, will begin at 9 a.m behind Regions Bank. Interested participants will need to register online at raceroster.com by midnight Sept. 30 in order to receive a race shirt of his or her choice.
Followed by the 5K will be the Kids Fun Run for children 12 and under, which will begin at the Rainbow Connection Bridge. Interested participants will be able to register for the Fun Run on the day of the festival.
An awards ceremony for the race participants is slated for 10 a.m.
The race event contact person, Kendarius Moore, can be reached at 662-390-3319 or email@example.com.
Frog Fest will feature a slew of food and arts and crafts vendors for festival goers to enjoy.
Brocato highlighted the Junior Auxiliary of Greenville who will be selling Kermit the Frog hats, face painting by the Greenville Arts Council, pumpkins with succulents attached will be sold by the Leland Garden Club, a toy walk and bake sale sponsored by the Animal Relief & Rescue Fellowship (A.R.R.F.) and the Delta Paddlers Association who will have kayaks on display at Deer Creek.
She also noted there will be a caricature artist doing renderings, a dunking booth and a balloon twister.
Other booths will include the local Girl Scouts of America troop and the Kermit the Frog Museum.
“The LCOC has some T-shirts that were designed by Jamie Kate — she’s a really talented artist that’s from Leland,” Brocato pointed out. “The shirts have the ducks on the back of them and we also have some regular T-shirts and some Christmas T-shirts for sale.”
Also featured at this year’s Frog Fest, and what will likely be a special delight to kiddos, is a special appearance made by The Muppets themselves during the festival along with “Paula Popcorn” and “Mr. Watermelon Head,” who will be there from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
It almost goes without saying, but a festival in the Mississippi Delta isn’t truly a festival without music.
With that, the Frog Fest will feature local as well as out-of-town musicians who will be rendering live music for the duration of the festivities.
Brocato emphasized the LCOC’s focus is to make sure this year’s festival is especially enjoyable for the kids and a great turnout for its vendors.
“In the past, we’ve done it with the Crawfish Festival, which is sponsored by the Blues Museum, so we don’t have that going on. It’s going to be a little bit different and it’s going to be directed more toward children, which is what the original plan was to begin with,” she said. “So we’d love everybody to bring their children so they can come have their faces painted, get a twisted balloon, a Kermit hat, pumpkin and whatever else they might like.”
The LCOC can be reached at 662-379-3704 for additional information.