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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • W.H. Croaker celebrates sweet sixteen

  • Frog Fest to take place this weekend
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  • If you've passed Waynesville Hill recently and looked up at the giant frog-shaped boulder, known as W.H. Croaker, you might notice the frog looks a little spiffier than normal.
    Last week, local tattoo artist Cat Spencer spent a day repainting W.H. Croaker, just in time for Frogtober Fest, which celebrates the frog's 16th birthday.
    Spencer said Blood Brothers Ink in St. Robert funded the paint for the project.
    After Croaker was painted, the 701st MP Basic Leadership Class cleaned the frog.
    Frogtober Fest includes children's games, scavengers hunts, and live entertainment by Helen Russel and Company and DJ Steve Brothers. It will take place in Waynesville City Park from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
    The event also includes the Sixth Annual Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce Frog Race sponsored by Sonic Drive. During this event, Chamber frogs will jockey for position as they race down the Roubidoux.
    History of W.H. Croaker
    • W.H. Croaker was "born" in 1997, carved out of rock by local tattoo artist Phil Nelson of Firehouse Tattoo.
    • Sheila Debo of Waynesville asked Nelson him to sculpt the ugly rock formation into something worthy of Waynesville Hill in 1996
    • According to Nelson, he wanted to make the rock a tiger, but someone on city council then advocated for it to be a frog.
    • Nelson spent nine months sculpting the rock.
    • During those nine months, he fell of the rock three times.
    • Originally, Nelson picked May for the Frog Fest event, in recognition of his daughter's birthday. Unfortunately, the weather ended up not being ideal that time of the year, so they moved it to October and named it "Frogtober Fest."
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