of Rayne, Louisiana, Speaks:
Rayne, even the trees are adorned with frogs. [Click
for a larger image.]
"We had our 26th annual Frog Festival during Labor Day weekend,
1998. About 75,000 people attended over the course of three days.
The big draw is the musical entertainment because we live in southwest
Louisiana Cajun country. At the Festival, people sell wares; we've
got big amusement rides that attract children; there's the queen's
contest and the frog-jumping contest; there's the Lion's Club
Frog Derby where little girls dress frogs up in costumes and jump
them for distance -- that's real unique. And there's crawling
races for little babies. All of this is typical of a country fair,
"lilly pad hoe-down" in the center of town, painted by local
residents Pat Brignac, Kay Cunningham, and Helen Menard. [Click
for a larger image.]
name is Claire Elizabeth Trahan. I'm Miss Rayne 1998-1999,
and I have lived here all my life; we have pictures of me
at my first Frog Festival holding a frog.
duty as Miss Rayne is to promote both the city of Rayne
and tourism whenever I'm called upon. I visit area festivals
and towns. At grand openings, parades, and other events
I'm called upon to be the official spokesperson.
Rayne is chosen every year in August. I had to wear an evening
gown and compete against nine other girls. The competition
consisted of an interview during which judges asked us about
our knowledge of the town, our attitude toward the future,
and future endeavors. We also had an on-stage interview
addition to the Miss Rayne competition, there's a Frog Derby
pageant that I've competed in. It also takes place during
the Frog Festival. A Frog Derby is like a horse race except
it's with frogs. A bunch of girls get together and jump
frogs; that's part of the pageant competition. We dress
the frogs up in little jockey uniforms and we get them to
jump. They are usually kept in a cage, so by the time we
take them out they are ready to jump. We usually just have
to tap the ground near them and they're off. The Derby Queen
isn't chosen by how far her frog jumps, but part of the
competition consists of the longest and farthest jump.
really proud that Rayne is the Frog Capital of the World
because I think it is truly unique and we're nationally
known because of it. And frogs are just not ordinary animals.
Frogs are very dear to us. Even though most people think
they are slimy and gross, we love them."